To mark the opening of our first Vancouver retail store, we teamed up with multidisciplinary artist Cynthia Tran Vo for an exclusive capsule collection.
A Vancouver native whose designs can be spotted on murals across town, Cynthia’s intimate knowledge of the city and its landmarks made her the perfect match for this collab.
About the collab
We asked Cynthia to design a canvas tote graphic, two enamel pins, and a set of postcards all featuring iconic elements of Vancouver while staying true to her own design style.
While these pieces are only available at our Vancouver retail store, here’s a little peek at her designs.
Get to know more about Cynthia and her designs below.
What inspired you to become a designer?
When I first started out in design, I was mostly doing basic logos and print layouts. I didn’t realize there was so much more to it than just making pretty things until I did my bachelor's at Capilano University.
It was in school, and through working with clients, that I discovered there’s a whole creative process designers go through with clients to develop a visual solution to their problems. Understanding the key role design plays in great brands was very important to my growth and commitment to becoming a multidisciplinary artist.
Now that I have more experience under my belt, I find that I’m even more motivated by the freedom and flexibility to constantly explore new techniques. I get to learn something new with every client, and no two projects are ever the same!
What made you want to partner with Vessi?
Vessi found me through my “You Are Home” mural I did a while back in New Westminster. But I’ve been a fan of Vessi shoes long before then, so when they reached out with an idea for this project, I was over the moon excited to work with a local company that I already loved and supported.
What was your inspiration behind the design?
This project was all about celebrating Vancouver, so I didn’t have to look very far for inspiration. I was born and raised here. And the unique mix of mountains, forest, and city has always been something I like taking a cue from - especially for this project.
I looked around the city and simplified the most iconic elements to reflect the love both Vessi and I have for our home city. I even hid some easter eggs! If you look closely enough, you’ll find a bunch of familiar Vancouver buildings in the design.
What was your favourite thing to design for this project?
I loved working on the tote bag! It’s exciting to create something that will actually be worn by people.
Out of all the elements on the bag, the park sign is my favourite. It’s so specific to Vancouver, and it reminds me of the Dude Chilling Park sign, which I think is a great nod to some of Vancouver’s inside jokes.
What is your favourite hidden gem in Vancouver?
Oh, that’s a hard one! I’d have to say Song Huong Restaurant on Nanaimo Street. It’s this little, homey Vietnamese restaurant that my parents and I have been going to for a long time. It’s part of my family’s history at this point, so it kind of feels like going home when I eat there.
Activity-wise, renting a speed boat at Granville Island is a fun and easy way to see Vancouver from a different angle.
Cynthia is a multidisciplinary designer in Vancouver, Canada with a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communications from Capilano University. She currently works as a freelancer from the comfort of her home studio where she can blast her go-to song of the moment.
You can find her and her work at cynthiatranvo.com.
Cynthia’s Top Pick
The Everyday Classic Sneaker
Meet your 24/7 sneaker, now even better suited to daily wear with an upgraded sole for more seamless, supportive movement. Your feet will stay happy all day and in any weather with our 100% waterproof knit.