Vans: The Ultimate Skating Brand

What Are The Origins Of Vans

Vans was founded in 1966 by Paul Van Doren, Gordon Lee, Serge Delia and James Van Doren. The company started as the Van Doren Rubber Company and sold shoes directly to customers from their factory in Anaheim, California. The first day of business saw twelve customers purchase shoes made that same day and picked up later.

The first product Vans released was the #44 deck shoe, now known as the Authentic. This shoe became popular with skateboarders due to its sticky sole, which provided excellent grip on skateboards. As skateboarding grew in popularity during the 1970s, so did Vans’ sales.

It was in the late 1970s, Vans became big in skateboard fashion. Through their sponsorship deals with well-known professionals such as Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta, they helped promote their brand and products through various competitions around Southern California.

What Was Vans First Products

Their first products were simple canvas skate shoes with a rubber sole that they called the Authentic. These shoes were designed for skateboarders who needed durable, functional and comfortable footwear, built to withstand the demands of their sport.

The Authentic quickly became popular among skateboarders and surfers in Southern California due to its grippy sole and sturdy construction. Vans also introduced other styles, such as the Era, Slip-Ons, Sk8-Hi, and Old Skool, which became staples in skateboarding fashion.

In addition to shoes, Vans also began producing clothing apparel and accessories such as t-shirts, shorts, hoodies, beanies, jeans, jackets, bucket hats and backpacks with their signature logo emblazoned on them. The company’s focus was to create a brand that appealed initially to skaters but has gone on to incorporate all areas of fashion, with streetwear being its principal style.

The Vans Old Skool in classic blue and black colourwave
The Old Skool is available for men, women and kids

When Did Vans Become Big Skateboard Fashion

Vans became prominent in the skateboard fashion scene during the 1970s. Skateboarding was becoming increasingly popular at this time, and Vans shoes were a perfect fit for skaters due to their durable construction and sticky rubber sole. The brand quickly gained popularity among skateboarders and soon became synonymous with the sport.

One of the reasons why Vans became so popular within the skateboarding community was because they listened to what skaters wanted in a shoe. They created specific features such as padded collars for ankle support, reinforced toe caps for durability, and waffle outsoles for better board grip.

As more professional skateboarders began wearing Vans skate shoes during competitions, it helped solidify their place in skate culture. Today, Vans remains one of the most iconic clothing and accessories brands in skateboarding and streetwear fashion cultures.

Who Was The First Celebrity Endorsement

One of the most significant moments in Vans’ history was when they secured their first celebrity endorsement. It happened in the late 1970s when skateboarding was gaining popularity and becoming a mainstream sport. At that time, Vans had already established itself as a brand that catered products to skateboarders and surfers.

The first celebrity to endorse Vans was none other than professional skateboarder Stacy Peralta. He was one of the pioneers of modern skateboarding and an influential figure in the sport’s development during its early years. Peralta wore Vans shoes and collaborated with the company to design his signature shoe model.

Peralta’s endorsement helped establish Vans as a legitimate player in the skateboarding industry and gave them credibility among skaters worldwide. The collaboration between Peralta and Vans paved the way for future partnerships with other pro-skateboarders and celebrities, further solidifying their status as one of the top brands in action sports fashion.

Which Vans Sneaker Is The Most Popular

The popularity of Vans sneakers has been on the rise for years, and it’s no surprise that one of their most popular models is the Old Skool. This classic sneaker features a low-top design with the iconic Vans side stripe and durable canvas upper. The Old Skool has become a staple in skate culture and streetwear fashion, making it a versatile choice for anyone looking to add ultimate comfort and style to their wardrobe.

The Slip-On Pro is another top pick from Vans for those looking for something more modern. This updated version of their classic slip-on features added cushioning and durability for improved performance while maintaining its signature look. With collaborations featuring brands like Supreme and Fear Of God, it’s clear that this sneaker has cemented itself as a must-have in contemporary fashion.

Vans continue to innovate with new designs like the half cab, each season while also staying true to its roots, with the obvious classic styles like the Old Skool and Authentic remaining fan favourites.

Who Owns Vans Now

Vans is currently owned by VF Corporation, a global apparel and footwear company based in the United States. VF Corporation acquired Vans in 2004 for $396 million. Since then, Vans has continued to grow under the umbrella of VF Corporation.

VF Corporation also owns other well-known brands such as The North Face, Timberland, and Dickies. With its acquisition of Vans, VF Corporation expanded its portfolio into the skateboarding and youth culture market.

Despite being owned by a larger corporation, Vans maintains its unique brand identity and continues producing popular products that appeal to skateboarders and fashion enthusiasts alike.

The half cab Vans shoe in yellow with blue stripe
The half cab is as popular as any Vans skate shoes

How Much Do They Earn Annually

According to Forbes’ list of America’s Best Midsize Employers in 2021, Van’s parent company VF Corporation earned $10.5 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ending March 2020. However, it should be noted that this figure represents the entire corporation, including other brands such as Timberland and The North Face.

The exact figures are not publicly available regarding specific earnings for Vans alone. Nonetheless, Vans remain profitable given its continued expansion into new markets and collaborations with high-profile fashion designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Vivienne Westwood.


In conclusion, Vans has come a very long way since its humble beginnings in 1966. From making shoes specifically for skateboarders to becoming a worldwide fashion phenomenon, Vans has established itself as a stylish, cool and functional brand.

The brand’s popularity skyrocketed in the 1980s when it became associated with punk rock music and rebellious youth. Celebrities like Sean Penn helped boost the brand’s image by wearing them on screen in movies like “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Today, Vans continues to be popular among skaters, surfers, musicians, and anyone who appreciates comfortable footwear that makes a statement.