I collected all the Vans we have under our family of four’s roof and this is what I came up with! 14 pairs! Are we obsessed?! You bet, Vans are the best. Cool, comfy, functional, versatile, long-lasting and vegan (if there’s no leather and that’s important to you). In fact, the first pair of shoes that I bought both of my daughters we’re mini, baby Vans. They’re packed away in their keepsakes somewhere.
In light of our large collection I discovered, I decided to look a little further into what the history of the Vans company was. Here’s what I found out.
Vans turns 51 years old on March 16 this year. Started as a little company in Anaheim California in 1966 by 4 guys are looking to make custom shoes. They open their doors one day with the hopes of making custom shoes for customers. 12 customer showed up there opening day, place their custom orders, and were told to come back later that day to retrieve their shoes. The guys quickly went to work to make the orders, however they had forgotten to get change to give their customers when they came back to pick up the shoes and give them payment. So, they ask their customers to come back the next day and pay them and they would have change; all 12 customer showed back up the next day to pay.
They struggle to get the word out about their product, like any new business, but what turns around for them was the interest by the skateboarding community for shoes that were durable, and had grip for skateboarding. In fact, Vans’ tagline, “Off-the-Wall” is derived from the skateboarding term for somebody getting radical skating a pool, etc. In the early 1970’s, skateboarding was coming into its own and early iconic skateboarders like Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta were among the first to be signed to the Vans skateboarding sponsored team.
The Vans Company ended up being sold in 1988 for $74 million. The company was Field again in 2004 for $396 million.
Today, the vans company is focused on what company executives called or four pillars: on what execs call their four pillars: art, music, action sports and street culture.
For over 20 years Vans has sponsored the Warped tour which makes many stops around the country each and every year. The tour features bands that have a big following, however, it is also known as the place where up-and-coming punk rock/alternative bands and musicians are discovered.
Even though Vans is a multimillion dollar corporation today, it is also a household name. Vans has a very dedicated following because of its roots as an on trend but alternative company that supports those who don’t want to conform….