We no longer present the brand Vans, the mythical Californian brand known for its sneakers and skateboard models and its influence in street culture. Graduate is pleased to present the new Vans SS20 collection. With authentic and varied pairs, we find revisited and modern models, unstructured and with prints that will please you!
From Van Doren to Vans, the origins!
Vans isn’t just a brand. It conveys a way of life and symbolizes a whole generation of misunderstood and disenfranchised teenagers who were considered outcasts in a California that was witnessing the development of a new way of life and much more than a sport.
In 1966 the brothers Paul and Jim Van Doren and three partners founded the “Van Doren Rubber Company“. All passionate about the sport, they choose to market a pair for $5. That’s how the story of Vans begins, it is in the city of Anaheim in the State of California that the first store opens, where the pairs are manufactured and sold on the spot to limit the production costs. Legend has it that on the first day twelve pairs were sold, except that the Van Dorens had no change and customers were asked to return the next day.
This pair was the Vans#44, it should be known that in their early days, Vans shoes had style numbers, now known as the Vans Authentic. Thanks to this one, the brand is successful and meets the needs of the trend of young Californian teenagers with its “Waffle” sole, which is one of the many patents Vans owns. Note the peculiarity of this sneaker, it has a rather heavy sole, which would explain why it always falls straight back (which even created the #vanschallenge). It was the fans of the brand who started calling the brand as we know it today “Vans”.
The number of requests is increasing enormously, which pushes the brand to innovate. That’s why Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta members of the Z-Boys and skateboard legends were consulted for this mythical pair Vans Era released in 1975 is born, it will be available in blue and red. Revolutionary for the time, with its “Padded Collar” it adapted perfectly to the ankles of the skateboarders to become today a reference of the same level as Converse.
In 1979 one of the flagship models was created, the Slip-On, today it is one of the brand’s best-selling models. This sober and uncluttered pair without lace will allow the brand to be marketed nationally but also to make its reputation internationally. It was in the same year that the famous checkerboard was born, Paul’s son Steve Van Doren noticed that skateboarders were customizing their soles to create a checkerboard effect. Paul then decides to print the checkerboard on the Slip-Ons canvas. In addition the release of the film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” in which Sean Penn, who will become the bad boy and icon of young Americans, wears the famous checkered pair throughout the film.
Faced with the rapid success of the brand, P.Van Doren had to change factories and increase the number of employees, but the wide range of products on offer meant that the company’s funds were exhausted and it was forced to declare bankruptcy. This is why it chooses to relocate in order to offer pairs that are as stylish and competitive as ever.
An Off the Wall mindset
We spoke earlier about what the brand wanted to convey, let’s focus on the details. It was in 1970 that the expression “Off the Wall” began to emerge, a Californian-style way of life, an idea that was unconventional and out of the norm. The beginnings of Vans in the “Golden State” are difficult like the beginnings of skateboarding whose founders were amateurs. Considered at the time as pariahs, they were rejected in a booming state where life was seen as easy and paradisiacal, the education system was efficient and the state attracted many investors.
There has never been a proper definition of this expression, Vans only unveiled it in 2016 through a promotional video “This is Off the Wall” for their fiftieth anniversary. Doug Palladini, CEO of Vans says “We are very pleased to be able to tell this sincere and inspiring story, spanning five decades, through our ambassadors, who come from all over the world and whose passion for extreme sports, art, music and street culture brings them together”.
In this campaign, big names in skateboarding, surfing, artists and influencers were honoured to give their definition because one was impossible to determine. “The reason we wanted to create a campaign capable of illustrating how this leitmotiv is expressed in different forms of creativity. Whether it’s music, surfing, skateboarding, or customising a pair of shoes, every story Vans tells will reflect the brand’s unique view of the world,” said Fara Howard, former vice president of Global Marketing at Vans.
Artistic emancipation, the spirit of freedom, the desire to be different are the essence and identity of the brand that embodies all the values that the brand stands for. This translates into eccentric, unstructured pairs or even atypical prints that retain this Californian identity.
Vans is very much involved in this world and shows its commitment with the creation of a skatepark in Orange (California) in 1994. In addition to the skatepark, the House of Vans was born, the concept was born in the Greenpoint district of New York and in Waterloo in London. The House of Vans is a place dedicated to skate culture, street culture, created by the founders of the Californian brand in order to “embrace and nurture creative expression through art, music, skateboarding, BMX, street culture and fashion”. In 2017, this event will take place exceptionally in Paris, whereas it was initially located in London.
A pair designed on the spot for 5$ with reference to board sports. Vans has been able to develop its pair to meet the needs of skateboarders, offering a variety of products, investing in the world of urban culture to be a must-to have at home today.
Vans, a quest for innovation!
The paisley pattern is back for the SS20 collection of the Californian brand. Available in blue and red, it has been applied on the OG Era LX Vans.
The Californian label is constantly innovating with increased technicality and the integration of Ultracush HD technology on some mythical pairs to offer optimal comfort while keeping its Californian design. Assembled with the embossed rubber sole, the Ultracush system provides better cushioning for your sliding sessions, comfortable and pleasant with all the necessary strength and grip.
A return to the past!
This year is marked by the rebirth of mythical pairs, in different colours and prints for a West Coast touch, with several collections including the Og Era LX, with its beautiful paisley pattern. The components of these revisited pairs are inspired by the sporty style of the 90s. The brand takes back design steps from the period for a vintage style, particularly with the use of original style numbers and colour palettes, reissued prints, cotton laces and the original sole combined with the Ultracush sole.
This season Vans is making a strong comeback with three timeless pairs that are the OG Epoch LX, OG Era LX et OG Mid Skool LX.