THE VANS 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION IS PURE GOLD!
That’s right! This month marks the 50th anniversary of the “Off the Wall” fun and versatile shoe and clothing company. And boy did they celebrate in style. For starters, Vans didn’t have just one party, but 10 parties to mark its big day. 10! Like 10 fingers, 10! We’re talking a worldwide celebration that took place in 10 major cities like Brooklyn, Austin, and Toronto. Other cities on the list included London, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Cape Town.
Had you any idea the Vans name was so well-recognized across the globe? We sure did! Star-studded events included performances from the likes of Nas, Dinosaur Jr., Wu-Tang Clan, The Kills, Erykah Badu, Jamie xx, Dizzee Rascal, Yeasayer and Shlohmo. The Vans Off the Wall 50th Celebration felt like a giant kick-off for music festival season, with guests being treated to musical performances, hands-on workshops, shoe personalization sessions, and an interactive display of the company’s 2016 brand campaign.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been an anniversary party without some type of memory reel. Think nostalgia all over the place (yep, once you’ve reached 50+, you’ve acquired some pretty notable memorabilia to show off). As a way to share their story, Vans partnered with Skateboard Museum Berlin and The Other Side of the Pillow to showcase a gallery of vintage Vans products.
The Vans 50th Anniversary Collection
Care to get in on the action? We hope you like GOLD—the theme of choice for the 50th anniversary of all things! Check out these fun pairs of Vans that are all a part of the Vans 50th Anniversary Gold Pack Collection, starting with the Vans Sk8-Hi Reissue (50Th) Black/Gold:
Updated classics like the ones shown here are the perfect shoe to wear to celebrate the Vans 50th Anniversary. In time for spring, we’re crushin’ on the Vans Sk8-Hi Reissue (50Th) Duke/Classic White:
Next, a classic gets a sophisticated makeover with the Vans Old Skool (50Th) Port Royale/Gold:
And these Vans Classic Slip-On (50Th) Black/Gold/Checker are sure to look familiar:
Yet another special, golden-hued Vans style is the Vans Authentic (50Th) Gold/Checker. This pair really takes the theme and really runs with it, wouldn’t you say?
Finally—gold, elegance, and comfort make up the Vans Authentic (50Th) Duke/Black/Gold Foil:
Another spring pick!
Aside from releasing these sweet pieces of footwear to mark its special occasion, Vans will be extremely busy throughout 2016, as it continues to offer global masses skateboarding demos, music events, interactive design workshops and art installations, all in support of the creative communities that have helped reach the iconic Vans brand reach such a milestone.
How Vans Made It To 50: The Virtues of Vans
Just a Bit of Vans History in the Making
The Vans brand started out in a corner unit in Anaheim, California in 1966. Two brothers by the name of Paul Van Doren and Jim Van Doren, along with partners Gordon Lee and Serge Delia, started out as the Van Doren Rubber Company. They manufactured shoes right on the premises and sold them directly to the public, sort of like how when you go somewhere for lunch, order something, and are fed right away.
Flash forward 10 years later and the Vans #95, now known as the Era, with a padded collar and different color combinations, became the shoe of choice for a generation of skateboarders. All thanks to designers Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta. The Vans Classic Slip-ons were released just one year later, followed by the Sk8-Hi style in 1978.
While the masses fell in love with the Vans styles (see Fast Times at Ridgemont High for starters), some financial craziness happened in the 80s (a dark decade for a lot of us), then snowboarding happened, followed by more financial craziness (better this time), and by the mid-90s, things were looking better than ever for Vans. The brand flourished once more, particularly with the help of music festivals collaborations, such as with what would eventually become known as the Vans Warped Tour.
Some more sponsorships of sports events happened, and by this time, Vans was unstoppable, especially with its acquisition of the Triple Crown of Surfing and its development of the Vans Triple Crown Series which attracts emerging generations of skateboarders, BMXers, surfers, wakeboarders, snowboarders, freestyle motocrossers and supercrossers—all of which are sports broadcasted on ESPN2.
Next came Salt Lake City Olympic Gold Medalists, who won their coveted awards wearing Vans snowboard boots (2002). Then, in 2006 for its 40th anniversary, Vans added apparel to its repertoire. And in 2013, a collaboration with Disney happened, which saw the company win over a whole new generation of young hearts.
Over the past 50 years, Vans has sealed many deals, assisted in many charities, and never, ever slowed down. This is one of the many reasons the Baggins team stands behind this big brand that stems from humble beginnings. We will admit to missing quite a bit of exciting stuff in the abovementioned Vans timeline, so, if time allows and your coffee break isn’t yet over, check out the rest of the Vans 50-year history.
Wanna see how the rest of the world celebrated? The interwebs can show you! Join the conversation using #Since66 and #HouseOfVans on Twitter and Instagram, and visit the Vans Tumblr for updates on Vans’ big bday.
Curious as to when Baggins turns the big 5-0? We’ve still got three more years to go! Check out our About Us page sometime to learn more about how we’ve made it all these years.