30 Surprising Facts About Vans

Luke Ward
4 Minutes Read

In 2001, Vans bought controlling interest in the Vans Warped Tour, America's top action sports and music venue festival.

If you’ve ever followed an American success story, then the story of the company, Vans is just what you’re looking for.

This streetwear shoe & apparel manufacturer is now celebrating its years of popularity in supplying the most innovative and well-received sportswear on the market.

Today one will find Vans shoes and other products the favorite of sports celebrities, top musicians, and spotlighted persons all over the world.

The brand name has become synonymous with durability and subtle design and one can find a type of shoe or other merchandise for any occasion.

Considering the company started out very small and had lots of competition, a lack of support, and barely enough resources to operate, it has proven itself a vanguard of independent entrepreneurship that fairy tales are made of.

The creators have become legends in several areas most notably the skateboarding industry and sport.

They represent that sort of pioneer spirit that folk tales are made of.

Now, men, women, boys, and girls, can choose from a wide variety of Vans products as the lines have expanded over the years. Well made, keenly designed, Vans is a staple of American apparel.

Here are 30 surprising facts about Vans!

The company was originally founded by brothers Paul and Jim Van Doren. They had two partners along with them, Gordon Lee and Serge Delia.

Vans was founded on March 16, 1966, and opened at 704 E. Broadway in Anaheim California.

The first day of opening, only 12 customers showed up.

The first 12 customers were asked to return later in the day to pick up their shoes as a problem had arisen. They did but the brothers hadn’t any change and then asked the 12 customers to return the next day to pay, and all 12 did.

Their most celebrated shoe is the Vans #95, aka Era, which was designed by skateboarding legends Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta.

In 1997 the Vans #36 debuted as the Old Skool and is considered the hallmark shoe of the entire brand.

The Vans #98, the classic slip-on line became so popular that its silhouette has become the iconic logo for the company.

Multiple Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn, made the Vans slip-on shoes internationally popular when he wore them in his performance in the now classic comedy “Fast Times At Ridgemont High”.

In 1991, Vans offered public stocks. They debuted on the NASDAQ at $14 per share.

In Autumn of 1993, Vans introduced their first Vans Snowboard Boot for the Winter 1994 season.

In 2001, Vans bought a controlling interest in the Vans Warped Tour, America’s top action sports and music venue festival.

Legends Marc Jacobs and Trovata are the designers of the Vault By Vans sneaker combinations.

Legendary pro skater Anthony Van Engelen is the first person rider for Vans Apparel.

The Vans + The Simpsons merchandise series features cartoons from the popular animated show and art from such popular designers as Dave Flores, Geoff McFetridge, Stash, Kaws, Sam Messner, Mr. Cartoon, Taka Hayashi, Tony Munoz, Todd James, and none other than Neckface.

Pro surfer Joel Tudor is the first surfer to sign on with Vans’ apparel program.

Vans actually has produced movies! Their first ever surf flick is called ‘Get-N Classic, Vol. 1‘ and showcases Joel Tudor, John Florence, the Vans surf team & Australian, Wade Goodall.

Vans first full-length documentary movie is called ‘No Room for Rockstars‘.

Vans actually has a vulcanized cupsole called Wafflecup. A special technological blend of durability of said cupsole and advanced board-feel and grip of the traditional Vans vulcanized shoe.

Super rock band Metallica has their own line of Vans shoes. Each member of the band designed their own shoe.

Vans is also a partner with Disney using such iconic Disney characters as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Winnie the Pooh.

Vans has a 42,000 square foot skate park in Huntington Beach, California.

Vans also has a partnership with the Beatles franchise. The Beatles Yellow Submarine by Vans collection spotlights the vintage art of the animated movie, The Yellow Submarine.

Vans has a line of merchandise based on the Star Wars franchise trilogy.

Vans also has a scholarship in partnership with the Berkley College of Music. The Berkley College of Music is one of the world’s foremost educational facilities focusing on modern contemporary music.  The scholarship is called the Off The Wall Scholarship.

In October 2015, Vans opened a skate park called the Lynch Family Skate park in Boston.

Vans celebrated 50 years of operation on March 16, 2016.

As of early 2017, Vans is worth a staggering $1.2 billion.

Vans is the title sponsor of the US Open of Surfing in Hunting Beach, California.

Vans also has a skate park in the UK at London in the Old Vic Tunnes called House of Vans.

It was in 1988 that owners Paul Van Doren and Gordon C Lee sold Vans to McCown De Leeuw & Company at a price tag of $74.4 million.

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About The Author

Luke Ward
Luke Ward

Luke Ward is the founder of The Fact Shop. He has over 14 years of experience in researching, informative writing, fact-checking, SEO & web design. In his spare time, he loves to explore the world, drink coffee & attend trivia nights.

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