For Kicks: Celebrating 50 Years Of Vans

And Talking To Our Favorite Brand Loyalists

Photographed by Scott León

Vans is a way of life. The iconic brand might remind you of growing up, or going to an epic concert, or your first time stepping on a skateboard. And if you’re anything like us, it dominates your footwear wardrobe. This month, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beloved label that opened its inaugural store in 1966 under the name Van Doren Rubber Company, after the founder Paul Van Doren. Paul’s son Steve has been with the brand since he was 10, and now oversees the company’s events around the world. (Fun fact: he’s responsible for sending over Spicoli’s Slip-Ons to be used in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, so he’s basically a legend.) Today, Vans is synonymous with so many things we hold near and dear: Warped Tour, the checkerboard print, the trusty Waffle sole. So, in honor of the occasion, we rounded up some of our favorite Vans loyalists and picked their brains on why they love the brand as much as we do (plus we put together the most perfect custom NYLON pair).

Vans has taken its Sk8-Hi silhouette and created 50 colorways for men and women, and we got the awesome opportunity to step in and make our own custom NYLON pair! We took our favorite color, NYLON pink, and splashed it on the sole and all over in a checkerboard print. We then doubled down on the checker pattern with the laces and embroidered our logo on the back to make the shoes feel extra special.