Vans Custom Culture Competition Goes Digital
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people live, and it also changed the way that Vans brand has run its Custom Culture High School competition.
For more than a decade, the Costa Mesa, Calif-headquartered footwear and apparel brand has awarded thousands of dollars to high school art programs whose student designers produced new looks for Vans sneakers.
In 2020, Vans developed a new category for the contest. It recognized digital designs for students who were not able to access to a physical pair of sneakers due to the pandemic, said Carly Gomez, vice president of marketing for Vans the Americas. “Enabling creativity remains our focus and we quickly pivoted the program so all participating schools could submit their designs even if they were stuck at home. Again, the submissions we received far exceeded our expectations, and the participation from students showcased the creative spirit when it’s needed the most,” she said.
The winner for the digital submission category was George Washington High School in San Francisco. The high school’s art program was awarded $50,000 for digital plans for a pair of Vans slip-on sneakers , which showed the toe cap of a Vans sneaker being peeled back like the top of can of food.
There also was a grand prize for a physical pair of shoes. It went to Strawberry Mansion High School of Philadelphia. The high school art program was awarded $50,000 for its submission.