In March of 1966, the Van Doren brothers created the casual sneaker that would later be iconic for action-sport, street, and music culture. On the first day the store opened, 16 customers came in and ordered their own customised shoes. Upon pickup, the customers were surprised to hear that the registers had not been set up yet. They were given the shoes and asked to come back and pay another day. All 16 customers eventually came back to pay for their shoes.
This foreshadowing of customer loyalty would continue to be seen for fifty years.
Now owned by the multi-billion dollar VF Corp., and turning out cosy collaborations with corporate behemoths such as Disney, one might ask how Vans continues to keep its cool. From tremendous support from Southern California’s youth during the rise of the skateboarding scene to global appeal with its feature in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Vans has remained in the hearts and on the feet of many because its many adherents seem to have their own artistic take on the shoe. Which is why we’ve seen the same shoe in thousands of variations of prints and why we continue to see people walking around with individualistic twists on Vans' classic line-up.
People who wear Vans cannot be grouped together. Each person’s take on the way they wear their Vans make each person unique. The company embraces individualism and has a deep understanding of what it means to be bold and original or, as they have coined it, “Off the Wall.” Because of this we will continue to be saying things like “Damn Daniel! Back at it again with the white Vans!” (see viral video) for many more years to come.