Today the Harry Potter franchise once again proved its commercial longevity with the release of a Vans collaboration. The shoe brand, best known for its grunge-y skate sneakers, designed the footwear and apparel collection to represent the Hogwarts houses and various other magical objects from JK Rowling’s beloved fantasy series.
The collaboration comes nearly a decade after the final Harry Potter film was released, and over 20 years after the first book in the series was published. Vans, for its part, has recently completed a series of pop culture collaborations, including one with Led Zeppelin earlier this year and a tribute collection to the late David Bowie.
As for Harry Potter, the book-series-turned-commercial-behemoth is showing no signs of slowing down. In addition to audiobooks, films, and theme parks, the universe from the original seven books has been expanded into a Broadway musical written by Rowling, as well as the star-studded Fantastic Beasts film trilogy. And just last month, Rowling’s Pottermore Publishing announced that four more Harry Potter e-books are on the way.
While new ways to engage with the Harry Potter world are welcome for many fans, some critics have urged Rowling to leave the beautifully crafted world of her early novels alone. Indeed, at one point Rowling was made into an internet meme for adding new factoids and back stories about her original universe and characters. She has also been criticized for insisting that several of her major characters were of a different race or sexuality than they were made out to be in the books.