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Vans is turning 50 years young!

11 Apr 2016

Founded in 1966, the California-based company has quickly become a household name in fashion with shoes that marry durability, elegance and comfort. Here is a look back at a half century of innovation and originality. 

The history behind Vans is one of family and creativity. Two brothers, Paul and Jim Van Doren, and two of their friends came together to open a shoe store right out of their manufacturing workshop. Four years after selling their first pair, the entrepreneurs saw their products worn by the biggest names in the world of skateboarding, who appreciated the shoes' sturdy design and non-slip waffle sole. The young business continued to garner recognition, and by the early seventies, the House of Vans had become the name on everyone's lips across California.

The Vans Off the Wall logo that we know today was created in 1976, leading to the launch of a new shoe model several years later. A stylish and practical choice for action sports, the high top was born. It was during this same period that the “jazz” stripe on the side of the shoe and the checkerboard pattern became integrated into the Vans design. They would become the brand's most emblematic features, recognized throughout the worlds of sports, music and fashion.

In the early 2000s, the brand took another innovative step by partnering with fashion mogul Marc Jacobs, as well as several other trending artists, to create exclusive, avant-garde collections. Furthering its goal of promoting artistic pursuits, Vans organized a customized-shoe contest in 2010 that involved over 300 American schools.  

Today, Vans shoes are sold in 75 countries and remain as popular as they have ever been. You'll find them worn every which way: whether part of chic office attire or casual streetwear, they are delighting generations of youth the world over. Clothing, too, is a part of lifestyle, providing an avenue of expression for strong and independent personalities and colourful, active youth. 

Shop our selection of Vans clothing and accessories for her and for him

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