World Footwear


Vans annual custom culture competition

Jan 8, 2018 United States

Vans Custom Culture 2018 | VANS

Once again, Vans invites high school art students nationwide to participate in the ninth year of Vans Custom Culture, an art competition built to inspire creativity and show support for art programs in schools

Vans Custom Culture was created to empower high school students to embrace their originality through art and design. The 2018 competition refocuses that commitment through an updated format that increases financial support for the finalists and opens a pathway to amplify resources for even more creative futures. 

Vans has put almost 900 000 US dollars directly into art education programs for schools across the nation”, commented Megan Klempa, Custom Culture Program Manager, adding: “As we began planning for 2018, the brand took a step back to evaluate how we could make more of an impact and ensure we were reaching schools who need the most support.”

Those discussions led to a new approach in which Vans will select 500 US public and private high schools that register to participate in the program. The qualifying schools who will be considered will include those that have had their arts programing cut: “By completing an impact document along with the submission, Vans will be able to focus and target schools who haven’t been able to support an education that enables creativity,” Klempa expands.

Running until the end of the current month, high school teachers and administrators can register their schools at the Vans Custom Culture website to enter the competition and have a chance to win the 75 000 US dollars towards their school's art program. After customizing two pairs of blank Vans with two selected themes and submitting their impact document, Vans will select the top 50 participants. Then each school, their community and the public vote on the Vans Custom Culture website from the 23rd of April to the 4th of May to determine the top five finalists. Vans and its partners, Americans for the Arts and Journeys, will celebrate the grand prize winner with a surprise, celebration event, gifting the school the winning funds and custom codes for the design team. The four runner-up schools will each be awarded 10 000 US dollars and a limited-edition Vans gift.

"The quality of the design, creativity, and effort that goes into each pair of shoes these students create never seizes to amaze me", stated Mitch Whitaker, General Manager of Vans North America, adding: "We're proud to bring back Vans Custom Culture in a new way and we're excited to award even more funding to schools in need. Vans Custom Culture taps into the core of what Vans stands for: encouraging youth creativity and enabling self-expression through art."

Related Events

  • Jun
    Jun 17-Jun 19, 2024 | Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    Outdoor Retailer

  • Jul
    Jul 9-Jul 10, 2024 | St. Paul, Minnesota, United States

    Northwest Shoe Travelers Market

  • Jul
    Jul 17-Jul 18, 2024 | New York, United States

    Lineapelle New York

  • Jul
    Jul 22-Jul 23, 2024 | Portland, United States

    Polymers in Footwear Portland

Related Organizations

  • TUSPM Shoe Museum

    TUSPM Shoe Museum

    United States
  • BSTA - Boston Shoe Travelers Association

    BSTA - Boston Shoe Travelers Association

    United States
  • Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc.

    Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc.

    United States
  • Brooklyn Shoe Space

    Brooklyn Shoe Space

    United States