Vans Kicks Off Its 10th-Annual Custom Culture Competition
Now in its tenth year, the Vans Custom Culture campaign launched Jan. 2, affording an opportunity for high-school students to create extraordinary shoe designs for cash prizes from the Costa Mesa, Calif., action-sports apparel brand. The 2018 winning design came from Hixson, Tenn.'s Hixson High School.
A grand prize of $75,000 will be awarded, in addition to four awards of $10,000 for each runner-up. The grand-prize winner will receive a surprise lunch-time celebratory visit from Vans, along with its partners, Americans for the Arts and Journeys. To complement the cash awards of the runners up, Vans will also provide a limited-edition gift.
"Vans Custom Culture is a shining example of how we bring our brand's purpose of enabling creative expression to life," Kristy Van Doren, senior director of brand marketing in North America at Vans, said. "The competition has inspired more than 12,000 high schools and Vans has donated more than a million dollars to support art education to fuel creativity across the country. We've reached a huge milestone of 10 years and are proud of what's to come."
Through the Vans Custom Culture website, art teachers and administrators from public and private high schools located in the United States can register their schools until the closing date on Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. PST. Five hundred schools will be permitted to compete by creating shoe designs that are reflective of "Local Flavor" and "Off The Wall" themes.
Vans partnered with El Segundo, Calif.-based art-supply company Yoobi to provide the basic tools necessary for these schools to create their designs from two blank pairs of shoes that will be supplied by the apparel company. Fifty schools will be chosen as semifinalists based on their submitted designs and an Impact Document, which outlines how the award money will be used if a team is selected. From April 22 through May 3, a public vote will be held to determine the five finalists. Schools are encouraged to promote their participation in the competition.
"Vans Custom Culture is creative expression," Mitch Whitaker, general manager of Vans North America, said. "We are committed to inspiring our youth community to not only express themselves through art but to showcase that there is no limit to where their creativity can take them."