On March 16th, 1966 brothers Pual Van Doren and Jim Van Doren partner up with Gordon Lee and Serge Della to open up Vans - which was originally known as The Van Doren Rubber Company in Anaheim, California. Manufacturing and selling direct to consumers out of their store at 704 E. Broadway.
One of Vans' most iconic silhouettes the Vans Authentic silhouette was originally dubbed the Vans #44 Deck Shoes (the first model they ever created). The name "House of Vans" is coined Early 70s Skateboarders who like Vans' rugged make-up and sticky sole are seen sporting for the first time and is showcased on the windows of the Anaheim location. In 1976, the Vans #95 more commonly known today as the Vans Era silhouette was birthed. This model featured a padded collar and various color-blocked iterations making it highly appealing to the skateboard scene. Little know that this model was actually designed in partnership with OG skateboard legends, Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta. Closing out 1976, the world-renowned Vans' OFF THE WALL logo makes its debut to the public.
In 1977, Vans' debuts their hallmark silhouettes the Old Skool and Classic Slip-On. In 1978, Vans releases the Style 38, or as we know it the Sk8-Hi model - which is their second design featuring the infamous Vans formstripe on the side panel, which was formerly known as the Jazz Stripe. By the end of the '70s, Vans has 70 stores throughout California and sell through dealers both nationally and internationally.
Surprisingly enough, after Vans rise to stardom worldwide in the 60s and 70s among skateboarders and BMX riders alike, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1984. Their sales were still performing well, but their vast product catalog drained the company of resources and monetary funds making them incapable of overcoming their debt. Luckily, the courts approved the re-organization of Vans as Paul Van Doren returns to the company as President. Paul notified employees that they will not be getting a raise for three years and that the brand will need to cut back costs on everything, whilst not sacrificing the quality of Vans shoes. Within those three years, Vans was able to pay back all creditors, and re-emerge from their $12 million debt and Chapter 11. Throughout the remainder of the '80s Vans releases their first signature skate shoe - the Steve Caballero model, as well as focusing on introducing new materials and executions.
Entering into the '90s, Vans makes an IPO of stock at $14 USD on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. In 1993, Vans introduces their Snowboard Boot for the first time. Vans continue to make noise in 1995 by sponsoring the Warped Tour for the first time ever, and in 2001 Vans buys a controlling interest in the tour, which is the longest-running concert series in America.
Vans is one of America's oldest skateboard footwear companies still on the market today, rolling into the 2000s Van's continued to break barriers - creating skate contests, skate teams, having their gear worn by award-winning Olympians, even aiding in the creation of the infamous movie Dogtown and Z-Boyz, which give s a glimpse into the heritage lifestyle of skateboarders in the 60s and 70s and the birth of Vans. Other notable achievements include, fully taking over the Warped Tour dubbing it the Vans Warped Tour, launching the Vans Customs on their website allowing customers to fully customize their very own Vans, and lastly - various collaborations.
Vans has stood the testament of time, staying relevant for the last 54 years. Breaking barriers, creating history, beating bankruptcy, and creating some of the skateboard scenes' most iconic and beloved silhouettes.