The history of Vans . shoes
Dream of the Vans . shoe brand
Back in 1966, Paul Van Doren and his friends opened their first store at 704 E Broadway in Anaheim, California, called The Van Doren Rubber Company. Vans’ dream also started from there.
First of all, Paul Van Doren will never be a successful businessman. In order to pursue his passion for horse racing, he dropped out of eight grades and was unable to enter the competition. His mother made him work in the shoe factory where she worked. For the next 20 years, Paul was executive vice president of Randy’s, a shoe company in Boston.
On March 16, 1966, along with Serge D’Elia and Gordy Lee, he founded the first company to manufacture and sell shoes directly without going through a retailer. With a store width of only 400 square feet. At the opening ceremony yesterday afternoon, 12 guests ordered shoes ranging in price from $2.49 to $4.99. Thus was born the shoe we still call the Authentic Vans today. For the next few years, they opened a new store almost every week. By this time, they already owned 50 retail stores, Vans brought in higher revenues, and got closer and closer to consumers. Although the brand retains the name Vans Doren Rubber, customers used to call it Vans shoes.
The birth of the Vans Era shoe
The sole of the first pair of shoes cracked on the outer surface. Vans Doren designed a new sole similar to today’s shoes and patented it. The skateboarding boom of the early 1970s provided an excuse for Vans to focus on producing different colors and textures early on. In response to this craze, they launched the Era line of products. These were red and blue boots developed by semi-professional skiers. Since then, Vans shoes have become the first choice of skaters.
The heyday of Vans Slip-on shoes
In 1979, the Vans #98 (aka Vans Slip) was born. When Sean Penn used these shoes in the classic movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, these shoes became increasingly popular. By the late 1970s, Vans had 70 stores in California. In fact, Paul would not sell his Vans outside of California. But despite this, the shoes began to be shipped from Vans-owned retail stores to third-party retailers and department stores, and appeared throughout the United States.
The ups and downs and miraculous rise of Vans
After these successes, the company entered a difficult period. Vans Doren was forced to lower the price of its shoes because competing companies were selling cheaper alternatives to the most popular skates. By 1984, the brand owed $12 million and the bank was demanding repayment of at least $6.7 million. Paul had no choice but to file for bankruptcy of a company founded nearly two decades earlier.
But just three years later, Paul Van Doren paid off his debt and restarted the company. With new investment plans and financial backing, Vans expanded and grew globally. In the Orange, California factory, they produced 2 million pairs of shoes. They quickly sold out and brought in over $50 million in sales. In 1988, Paul Van Doren decided to sell Vans to a bank for $74.4 million with a simpler name.
Throughout the 1990s, Vans suffered from business failures and low sales, and by 1996, the company seemed to be back on track. In the following years, 2000 and 2001, Vans was named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Small Companies. 2004 marked the birth of Vans Custom, when customers could freely create hundreds of color and texture combinations on classic shoes. Today, Vans can make a name for itself in the world by sponsoring many events and athletes. Some famous names can be mentioned such as: Bucky Lasek, Daniel Kass and Daniel Franck, Omar Hassan, …
2. How are Vans shoes made?
Rubber vulcanization process
Vulcanized rubber is a process that involves heating raw rubber to improve it. This process creates cross-links within the rubber compound to bind it together. Before being vulcanized, rubber is stretchy, flexible and easy to tear. But after vulcanization, the rubber hardens and shrinks better. This process makes the difference between a real Vans shoe and a fake one. Because the rubber vulcanization process is unknown, the durability of counterfeit products cannot be equal.