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Chicago's M.A.D.D. Rhythms Offers Exclusive Sneaker and T-Shirt Collab as Part of Vans 'Foot The Bill'

Vans is teaming up with independent shops and community driven spaces to create custom footwear and apparel.

Chicago's M.A.D.D. Rhythms Offers Exclusive Sneaker and T-Shirt Collab as Part of Vans 'Foot The Bill'

M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Chicago's premier tap collective, has been selected by Vans as part of Vans' "Foot the Bill" program that supports small business partners throughout the country.

Vans is teaming up with independent shops and community driven spaces, like M.A.D.D. Rhythms, to create custom footwear and apparel. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a devastating toll on small businesses, the net proceeds from the "Foot the Bill" merchandise goes directly to each of the partners involved.

The t-shirt, designed by Vans, available for $30, and sneakers, designed by M.A.D.D. Rhythms, available for $100, may be color customized and are available for purchase online at vans.com/footthebill through Sunday, May 2. Information about M.A.D.D. Rhythms and its 20th Anniversary season may be found at MADDRhythms.com.

The design, conceived by M.A.D.D. Rhythms, includes:

  • The dancers which are a part of M.A.D.D. Rhythms logo

  • The logo colors-red, green and black-which are part of African American history, as created in 1920, red: the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation; black: for the people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state and green: the abundant and vibrant natural wealth of Africa, the Motherland

  • Gold to symbolize M.A.D.D. Rhythms celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2021

  • Camouflage, on the back, to signify that the company works, creates and dances as a unit

  • On the left foot is the word "RESPECT" and on the right is the word "THE DANCE." This phrase, "Respect The Dance," was coined by the late Professor Robert L. Reed and is said by M.A.D.D. Rhythms at the end of every performance, gathering and meeting as a way of paying homage to all those who danced before them and have created the rich history of Tap that M.A.D.D. Rhythms continues today.

"M.A.D.D. Rhythms is very much about community. So, Barrett gathered Starinah "Star" Dixon, Donnetta Jackson, Megan Davis, KJ Sheldon and Izaiah Harris around the computer together to create a design that we would be proud to wear and truly represent us," said Founder Bril Barrett. "We are thankful to Vans for choosing us as a grassroots partner and look forward to seeing this design on people across Chicago and beyond."

Each participating partner's "Foot the Bill" footwear and apparel feature unique artwork that best represents its business. Through the Vans Customs website, customers will be able to support a business by selecting its unique design to create a custom pair of Vans. Participating partners will choose one Vans Classics shoe silhouette and it will serve as a canvas for the artist of their choice. Customers will then have the ability to use the Vans Customs tools to select color, print and material combinations to design a truly custom pair of vans.

Vans continues expanding the program adding two to three small businesses to the list of "Foot the Bill" partners each week. Vans will produce up to 1000 pairs of custom Vans and 250 t-shirts per business partner and once they're sold out, that design will no longer be available for purchase. Through efforts like "Foot the Bill" Vans is committed to championing inclusivity by supporting small businesses that are owned and operated by diverse communities.


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