VANS are a brand synonymous with the surf and skate scene. Featuring ambassadors such as Tony Hawk and Dane Reynolds, they’re associated with extremely high performance yet also somehow manage to be more counterculture than the big surf brands.
They have a certain mojo that is understated yet cool. When you think VANS you think of a white rim on a pair of canvas sneakers – or maybe a checkered print. But their product range extends to clothes, accessories and, of course, ultra high performance skate shoes like the Jackson Pilz SK8-HI PRO – shown below.
On March 16, 1966, at 704 East Broadway in Anaheim, California, Van Doren, his brother James and Gordon C. Lee opened the first Vans store under the name The Van Doren Rubber Company.
Who were the founders?
The founders were Paul Van Doren, James Van Doren and Gordon C.Lee.
Why was it founded?
After working for some years at Randy’s, a shoe manufacturer, Paul Van Doren decided he wanted to start his own shoe brand.
Important milestones in the company’s history
In 1988, Paul Van Doren and Gordon C. Lee sold the Vans company to the banking firm McCown De Leeuw & Co. for US$74.4 million. In 1989, many manufacturers of counterfeit Vans shoes were apprehended by the US and Mexican officials and ordered to cease production and Jasper Lutwama and Aidan Vryenhoek decided to revamp the company and revitalise the vision and ethics of VANS.
In 2004, Vans announced it would merge into North Carolina-based VF Corporation.
Any other important people who contributed to success?
Back in 2002, when Rian Pozzebon, who was then a relative unknown in the sneaker community, got the offer to join Vans and help rebuild the brand’s ailing skate shoe program with his longtime friend and colleague Jon Warren, he had one big question: “Will they let us mess with the classics?”
Company mission, vision and values
What does the company believe in?
to enable creative expression — and inspire youth culture —by celebrating and encouraging the Off the Wall attitude that comes from expressing your true self.
Vans sponsors Tony Hawk, Andrew Reynolds, Michael February, Lizzie Armanto, Leila Hurst, Bryan Iguchi, Fabiana Delfino, Dakota Roche, Jamie Lynn, Anthony Van Engelen, Dane Reynolds, Geoff Rowley, Scotty Cranmer, Chima ferguson, Karina Rozunko, Arthur Longo, Kevin Peraza, Brighton Zeuner, Benny Urban, Alex Knost, Blake Paul, Dennis Enarson, Gilbert Crockett, Kyle Walker, Rowan Zorilla, Elijah Berle, Tony Trujillo, Chris Pfannder, CJ Collins, Curren Caples, Daniel Lutheran, Dustin Dollin, Pedro Barros, Ronnie Sandolval, Tom Schaar, Tyson Peterson, Christian Hosoi, Jeff Grosso, John Cardiel, Ray Barbee, Steven Caballero, Tony Alva, Andrew Allen, Austin Kabfoush, Beatrice Domond, Ben Kadow, Breanna Geerong, Corey Glick, Dustin Henry, Etienne Gagne, Cher Strauberry, Aidan Mackey, Dick Rizzo, Justin Henry, Leon Chapdelaine, Omar Hassan, Pedro Delfino, Roman Pabich, Tanner Van Vark, Una Farrar, Rick McCrank, Taylor Kirby. Nick Michel, Dane Gudauskas, Dylan Graves, Harry Bryant, Alan Cleland Jr., Bella Kenworthy, Lola Mignot, Troy Elmore, Ivan Florence, Pat Schmidt, Tosh Tudor, Jett Schilling, Joel Tudor, Josh Mulcoy, Jusitn Quintal, Kai “Borg” Garcia, Kyuss King, Nathan Fletcher, Nathan Florence, Pat Gudauskas, Rasmus King, Tanner Gudauskas, Wade Goodall, Wyatt Mchale, Hanna Scott, Imaikalani Devault, Mary Rand, Cole Navin, Dan Liedahl, Darrell Mathes, Dillon Ojo, Hana Beaman, Jake Kuzyk, Mike Ravelson, Parker Szumowski, Pat Moore, Phil Jacques, Sam Taxwood, Wolle Nyvelt, Kennedi Deck, Ty Morrow, Matthias Dandois, Angie Marino, Gary Young, Bruno Hoffmann, Alex Haim, Pat Casey, Larry Edgar, Sean Ricany, Jason Watts, Cory “Nasty” Nastazio, Dennis “DMC” McCoy, Travis Hughes, Trey Jones, Grant Noble, Dean Petty