Paul Van Doren VF Corporation Anaheim, California
FoundedMarch 16, 1966; 54 years ago (1966-03-16) as The Van Doren Rubber Company. Their first store was in Anaheim, California
FoundersPaul Van Doren and Jim Van Doren [1]
HeadquartersCosta Mesa, California, US
Area served
BrandsAndi Nugraha Graffiti street wear
ParentVF Outdoor
Footnotes / references

Vans is an American manufacturer of skateboarding shoes and related apparel, started in Anaheim, California and owned by VF Corporation. The company also sponsors surf, snowboarding, BMX, and motocross teams.[3] Since 1996, the company has been the primary sponsor of the annual Vans Warped Tour traveling rock festival.


In 1944, Paul Van Doren dropped out of intermediate school in 8th grade at age fourteen when he realized he did not like school. He had a strong passion for horses and found his way to the race track where he earned the nickname “Dutch the Clutch”, and for one dollar he would give the odds of the race.[4] Paul’s mother, Rena, did not enjoy the idea of Paul being without a job and not in school, so she insisted he gets a job at Randy’s, a shoe manufacturer. His job entailed sweeping the floors and making shoes. Paul eventually became the executive vice president of the company at just 34 years old. Randy’s became one of the biggest shoe manufacturers in the US. From Van Doren’s quick success in Massachusetts, he was ordered to turn around a failing Randy’s factory in Garden Grove, California that was losing close to a million dollars each month. Paul and his brother Jim moved their families and settled in Anaheim to help the factory. After just eight months of being in Garden Grove, the factory was functioning better than the one in Massachusetts.[5] Three months after trying to save the Garden Grove factory, Paul decided he wanted to start his own shoe brand.

On March 16, 1966, at 704 East Broadway in Anaheim, California, brothers Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren and Gordon C. Lee opened the first Vans store under the name The Van Doren Rubber Company.[6] The business manufactured shoes and sold them directly to the public. On that first morning, twelve customers purchased Vans deck shoes, which are now known as "Authentic". The company displayed three styles of shoes, which were priced between US$2.49 and US$4.99, but on the opening day, the company had only manufactured display models without any inventory ready to sell—the store rack boxes were actually empty. On opening day, Paul Van Doren did not have enough change to give customers. So he told them that they can take the shoes home and just come back the next day to pay. The following day, all the customers came back to pay.[7]

The original version of the Vans skateboard logo was designed in Costa Mesa, California in the 1970s by Mark Van Doren at the age of 13. The son of then-President and co-owner James Van Doren, Mark designed the logo as a stencil to be spray painted on his skateboards. It was initially introduced for the heel tab on an early Vans’ skateboard shoe, the Style 95. After his son's interest in skateboarding James decided to manufacture skateboarding shoes.[citation needed]

In 1988, Paul Van Doren and Gordon C. Lee sold the Vans company to the banking firm McCown De Leeuw & Co. for US$74.4 million. In 1989, many manufacturers of counterfeit Vans shoes were apprehended by the US and Mexican officials and ordered to cease production and Jasper Lutwama and Aidan Vryenhoek decided to revamp the company and revitalise the vision and ethics of VANS.[7]

In 2004, Vans announced it would merge into North Carolina-based VF Corporation.[8]

Event sponsorship

Vans has sponsored and supported the Warped tour since 1999. In 2001, Warped Tour would be known as the Vans Warped Tour. Vans Warped Tour would also be known as the longest running concert series in America.[9] Returning in 2017, the tour is taking on a new element asking fans to complete a survey requesting which acts they should book.[10] Kevin Lyman, the founder of the Vans Warped Tour, announced the 23rd installment. 2018 would become the last summer for Vans Warped Tour.[11]

Vans became the title sponsor of the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California in 2014,[12] and in 2010, the company sponsored the Duct Tape Invitational.[13][14]

Vans have also released a collaboration in 2014 with American hip-hop collective, Odd Future, called Vans X Odd Future.[15]

Public skate parks

Vans shoes in use on a skateboard

Their first skate park was opened in 1998 at the Outlets of Orange. It features a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) indoor street course, a combi pool, which is 12 feet (3.7 m) deep, an area for amateurs, mini ramps, an outdoor street course, and an arcade. The park was updated in 2009.[16]

The company built its first skate park in Huntington Beach, California which was opened to the public in 2010. It includes a 17,500-square-foot (1,630 m2) skate bowl and a 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) skate plaza. The park is 42,500 square feet (3,950 m2) and Vans pays the city US$1 per year for the 20-year lease.[17][16]

There is also a skate park in London, in The Old Vic Tunnels called House of Vans.[18]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "VF Outdoor Completes Acquisition of Eagle Creek, Inc".
  3. ^ "Home". Vans, A VF Company. August 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  4. ^ Smith (June 27, 2017). "The Checkered (in a Good Way) History of Vans Shoes". Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  5. ^ Banks, Alec; Bojorquez, Gregory (November 10, 2015). "Steve van Doren". Humanity Magazine. Citizen of Humanity. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  6. ^ Connelly, Laylan (March 11, 2016). "Happy 50th, Vans: How the iconic shoe brand born in Anaheim has kept on surviving". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Vans, Inc. History". Funding Universe. Funding Universe. 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  8. ^ "VF Corp To Buy Vans For $396-Million Dollars". GrindTV. April 27, 2004. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  9. ^
  10. ^ L, Troy. "You can help choose the lineup for the 2017 Vans Warped Tour".
  11. ^ "2018 Vans Warped Tour: Founder Kevin Lyman reflects on 23 years of the groundbreaking festival".
  12. ^ Bell, Jennie (April 20, 2016). "Vans Renews US Open of Surfing Sponsorship Through 2018". Footwear News. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  13. ^ Story of the Duct Tape Invitational
  14. ^ Vans Duct Tape festival
  15. ^ "Odd Future X Vans Sneakers to Drop This Weekend". Highsnobiety. 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
  16. ^ a b Fletcher, Jaimee Lynn (March 22, 2014). "Vans to open free skatepark in H.B. Saturday". The Orange County Register. p. Local 2. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  17. ^ Fletcher, Jaimee Lynn (January 28, 2012). "H.B. OKs lease for first free Vans skate park". The Orange County Register. p. Local 7.
  18. ^ "Under London: Disused Tunnel Now a Subterranean Skate Park". Webist Media. 2014-08-25. Archived from the original on 2015-08-27.