Evolution Of A Brand: Vans

Almost every household has at least one pair of Old Skool Vans lying around, so where did it all begin?


Evolution Of A Brand: Vans


In The Beginning There Was Rubber


In March Of 1966, brothers Paul & James Van Doren, alongside Gorden Lee & Serge D'Elia opened the doors of The Van Doren Rubber Company in Anaheim, California. A family run company, they began manufacturing shoes & selling them directly to the public to keep their costs low, with the first pairs of Vans selling for as little as $2.49! The story goes, on their first day of trading, customers would have to select from a range of display models and return in the evening when their shoe had been manufactured and ready for collection.



 The Van Doren Company Anaheim, Calfifornia, 1966


 The Skating '70s


It's no wonder Vans became the trainer of choice for the Skating Community. With thick rubber soles, waffle grip, a hard canvas upper & thick nylon threading, they could withstand anything that was thrown at them.

With the adoption of Vans by skaters, the Old Skool Range was born. Introduced in the '70s with a reinforced toe cap to protect against wear from concrete & grip tape & a padded heel to protect from rogue skateboards, Vans truly embraced its "Off The Wall" mantra. "Off The Wall" became a call to self expression, which still continues with the brand to this day.



Old Skool Hi Top Vans


Off The Wall


 Vans influence soon began to break through to the music scene in the early 80's, finding itself a whole new wealth of followers. The growth of punk rock helped break Vans from the confides of California & become a global phenomenon. Anywhere punk went, you were sure to see a stampede of Vans close behind.


 Minor Threat




By the mid '90s the alt music scene had embraced Vans as one of their own. The longest running concert series in America "The Warped Tour" is sponsored by Vans in 95, firmly cementing their place as more than just a brand, but as an icon of self expression.  


Vans Warped Tour


Customize Everything


 Since the Warped Tour, Vans have continued upon the route of world domination. With their free spirited ethos, what was their next step? Customize everything. People had been customizing their Vans from the beginning with markers, pens & anything else they could get their hands on. Vans took this one step further.  They opened up their virtual doors and let customers design & customize their very own unique pair of Vans online, having them delivered directly to the customer. Just another way to celebrate individuality.



Customized Vans Old Skool Sk8 Shoes

 Vans Old Skool Trainer Customized


So there you have it, the history of Vans in a nutshell. If you'd like to find out more about the brands history, we recommend the video series produced by the brand themselves celebrating their 50 year anniversary.

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