About Vans Shoes
Vans is an American apparel company founded in 1966 by Californian brothers, Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren. The brand is particularly well known for its range of skate shoes. However Vans also manufacture clothing such as t-shirts, hoodies, socks, hats and backpacks.
A Rocky Start
When the brothers first opened their shoe store in 1966, there was only one style of shoe; the deck shoe, now known as the 'Authentic' shoe. Orders were taken from the customers, citing their preferred colour and size. The brothers quickly rushed to the factory to cobble together the shoes for the customers to pick up that afternoon. This is because they didn't manufacture a stock, rather just 'sample' shoes for people to choose from. The second issue the brothers encountered was that they didn't have a cash reserve, this meant that they were unable to accept payment. Instead they gave the customers the shoes on the promise that they'd return the next day to pay. All twelve customers that day returned to pay for their deck shoes.
In the 1990s, Vans really took off amongst the sporting community. Skaters such as Geoff Rowley, Dustin Dollin, Jason Dill, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero have all been affiliated with Vans products. By 2011, Vans opened their own enclosed skate park in the Festival Bay Mall in Florida. The company also have their own pro skate boarding team.
In 2004, fans of Vans were able to customise their slip-ons, mid-cut or high-top shoes, as though going back to their roots. It proved a huge success.
Today, Vans remains one of the elite brands within skating, and has filtered to the masses, with fashion-forward people opting to wear Vans lace-up plimsolls.