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History of Vans
The original Vans store opened its doors on March 16, 1966 in Anaheim California under the name “The Van Doren Rubber Company”. The company was created by brothers Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren. They intended to both manufacture and sell their footwear directly to the public.
On that first morning, twelve customers bought “Vans deck shoes”, which would end up being known as “Authentic” Vans. There were three styles of shoe on display priced between US$2.49 and US$4.99. But the Van Doren Brothers had only been able to manufacture the display models and didn’t have any inventory available to sell. If that wasn’t enough, they didn’t even have enough money in the register to give customers their change. They told them that they could take the shoes home and just come back the next day to pay.
The original version of the Vans skateboard logo was designed by Mark Van Doren, the 13 year old son of James Van Doren in 1970. Mark designed the logo as a stencil to be spray painted on his boards. It was Mark’s interest in skateboarding that convinced his father to make skateboarding shoes. The iconic logo was initially introduced for the heel tab on an early Vans skateboard shoe, the Style 95.
Since then Vans has gone on to sponsor skateboarders, surfers, BMX riders and since 1996 has been the main sponsor of the ultra-famous Warped Tour.