VANS’ RECORD CONTRIBUTION
Vans Announces $ 1 Million Donation, The Biggest in its History
On Sept. 11, Vans announced that it was donating $1 million to Imagination.org, a Los Angeles–headquartered nonprofit that produces programs to foster the creativity of youth.
Doug Palladini, Vans’ global brand president, said that the donation will rank as the biggest charitable venture in the Costa Mesa, Calif.–based brand’s history. He made the announcement at Worldz 2019, a marketing and networking event held in Long Beach, Calif.
Palladini also led a talk on building relationships with Gen Z. Other fashion executives who spoke at the event were Bob McKnight, co-founder of the Quiksilver brand; Sheila Shekar, chief marketing officer of Athleta; and Paige Adams-Geller, founder of the Paige brand.
Vans will donate the $1 million on Nov. 21 at the first annual Vans Checkerboard Day. The day will be set aside for Vans fans, consumers and friends of the brand to participate in activities, workshops and programs that develop youth creativity. Vans Checkerboard Day will take place at the Vans headquarters, Vans shops across the world, as well as in independent spaces.
Those participating in the event will be encouraged to wear the checkerboard design that has been a Vans icon since the late 1970s.
Vans Checkerboard Day was inspired in part by the Movember Foundation, which encourages men to grow mustaches in November to raise awareness for men’s health issues. “It’s a visible way to show that you are involved,” Palladini said.
Imagination.org currently runs 200 chapters across the world, said Nirvan Mullick, founder of the nonprofit. The donation will allow it to add 100 chapters. It will focus on building new chapters in schools, especially those without arts and performance programs, Mullick said. But it won’t be limited to schools. “In school and out of school, it’s all about a community that fosters creative expressions in kids,” he said. New chapters will be organized in China, Switzerland and other locales. Imagination.org also intends to produce programs in refugee camps in places troubled by conflict.