Sunday, 7 October 2012

Vans history

1 March 1966:  Paul Van Doran, Jim Van Doran, Gordon Lee and Serge D'Ella formed the Van Doren Rubber Company.  the factory, office and retail outlet were all set up at 704 East Broadway in Anaheim, South California.

Paul Van Doran had worked his way up over 20 years from sweeping floors to Exec Vice President at Randy's a Boston based show manufacturer.

Paul realised that shoe manufacturers did not make much of the money, the money was all in retail.  This is why he pioneered Direct Retailing .  Started with 16 styles of deck shoes, each with a style number.  Men cost $4.49 and women cost $2.29

vintage van doren #44 authentic
brown canvas
made in usa circa 1973

In 1975, the Vans #95, known today as the Era was designed by Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta.  With a padded collar and different colour combinations the Era becomes the shoe of choice for a generation of skateboarders.
by 1975 skateboarders in southern california including the infamous zephyr surf/skate team all officially wore navy blue style #44 as uniform.
almost 10 years to the day following van's beginnings as the leader in canvas casuals, the van dorens took notice of local legends stacey peralta & tony alva's tendency to prefer customade pairs for skating. they wanted different colour combinations & were also known for buying one van at a time & often replaced the rear shoe only which copped more heat using them in turning pivots. as such, on march 18 1976 vans released the 1st ever skateboarding shoe in the archetypal style #95. the vulcanised effects of the style #44 pure crepe rubber waffle outsole, essential for skateboarding, were retained & combined with the padded collar of a style #45 & padded heel panel for greater reinforcement. last but not least it was the attitude that was missing which vans compensated for using the classic outer 'off the wall' heel counter & releasing them in 2-tone colour combinations. the blue/gold/blue & brown/beige/brown shortly followed the original blue/red/blue which became synonomous with dogtown crew & attained legendary status. the style #95 was later named the 'era' as it was this era of the late 70's which defined vans for generations.

vintage van doren style #95 era
dogtown 2tone blue/red/blue canvas
made in usa circa 1976

Well some things never change. The story from the second era is really all about Vans – what made the brand so cool?
They had no other competitors in the early days, and they definitely had good grip for skating. Originally intended as sailing or beach shoes, Vans became aware of their skate following, so they produced style #95 (designed by Tony Alva) followed by style #34, then hightops called style #38. They sponsored a lot of skateboarders and contests, and they were the first shoe company to advertise in early Skateboarder magazines. So everybody knew them. Vans also was the first company which paid a professional skateboarder to wear their shoes and so Stacey Peralta became the first to receive endorsement cheques from a shoe company. 

Circa 1978
vintage van doren syle #95 era
2-tone blue/gold/blue dogtown canvas
off the wall
made in usa circa 1978
size N/A
new in box

vintage vans style #98 slip-on
2-tone pink/black canvas
made in usa circa 1978

Checkerboard slip on
Universal Studios asked Vans for some shoes for a new film called Fast times which starred Sean Penn.  his character Jeff Spicoli , a stoned surfer dude wore the checkerboard slip ons through out the movie.

Sales went through the roof into the millions.  Vans went global. 

1989 Steve Cabellero
Steve turned professional skateboarder in 1980.  By 1989 he designed a pair of Vans Cabs - specialist skater footwear.  the half cab followed two years later after Steve strated see his full cbs being customised by Skaters.

1993 BMX

vintage vans style #95 era (re-fresh)
usa stars & stripes betsy printed canvas
uci nbl worl championship scene PQ
customade in usa 1993
new (without box)

2005 Hollywood influence again with the launch of a movie about the Zephyr who wore Blue 44.

Vintage Vans Collectables

Hollywood actress Kirsten Stewert sporting 'Vintage' Vans


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