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Vans shoes have become much more than fun footwear. The brand—originally deck shoes embraced by the Southern California skate culture that became an icon when the company’s now-classic checkerboard slip-ons were featured in the classic comedy “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”—could also be described as a culture that spans generations ranging from skateboarders to hipsters and average Joes.
Inspired by the impact of the shoe and the brand, the company sponsors Vans Custom Culture, a competition between high schools across the country to see which school can produce the most creatively designed shoe. The prize? Not a lifetime supply of Vans (unfortunately) but $50,000 for the school’s art program.
Here’s how it works: Tennessee schools register online at vans.com/customculture and teams create designs for four popular Vans styles—the Old Skool, 106 Vulcanized, Sk8-Hi and Classic Slip-On—using one of four themes including action sports, music, art and local flavor for regional designs, through Feb. 11. After Vans experts narrow down their selections, the public votes on the Vans Culture website from April 22 to May 13. The top five schools will win a trip to New York where the announcement of the winner will be made in June. For more details visit vans.com/customculture.
It’s a win-win for schools, would-be student designers and Vans. And if anyone’s interested, The Pulse logo can be incorporated into a design—we’d dig some custom Pulse slip-ons.