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Sneakers September, 13 2012

Vans Legends: A Conversation with Steve Van Doren

The opening reception of the Vans Downtown Showdown Amsterdam presented by Monster Energy brought skateboarding legends, Pro’s, Ams, local Dutch media and skate enthusiasts together to celebrate 20 years of the iconic Vans Half Cab Shoe with photography, art, skateboarding and music. Twenty years, twenty skaters, twenty photos and one shoe, was the premise for the selection of images curated by Lance Dawes, to celebrate the legacy of the iconic Vans Half Cab shoe. Twenty customised Half Cabs complemented the photography exhibition, with artistic innovation from Shepard Fairey, Jimbo Philips, Chris Pastras, Lance Mountain and others.

We used the occasion to talk to some of the most iconic people from Vans and in skateboarding in general. We already presented interviews with Steve Caballero and with  Ray Barbee, here comes now the last chapter.

We used the occasion to also catch up with Vans Legend Steve Van Doren, the son of the co-founder of the brand, check it out here below.

Steve van Doren

Age: 57

Birthplace: Quincy, Massachusetts

Current location: Fullerton, California,

HS: What Year did you get involved with the family business?

S: Vans was founded 1966 by my father and I started working in the company when I was ten in 1966. So I’m involved since day 1.

What’s your favorite skate soundtrack?

Punk Rock, Pennywise.

What’s your favorite skate spot in the world?

Probably the Bondi Bowl Australia. Beautiful spot next to the ocean.

What’s your favorite VANS shoe/modell?

My slip ons.

What do you like about Amsterdam the most?

The friendly people. I have dutch relatives, my father. So I really enjoy being here.

3 essential pieces you’ll always put in your bag for a trip.

Vans shoes (vans slip ons), Hawaiian shirts, charger for my phone.

What was the most impressive place you ever visited?

I took a cruise up to Alaska to see the glaciers, they are monstrous and so beautiful.

What changed the most over the years?

Last night I had a questions and answer and they are talking about kids in the past, now I see young kids, they get younger and younger and get better and better. The world wide acceptance of skateboarding changed and just everything happens so quick today.

If you could change something or bring something back from the good old days, what would that be ?

The possibility to fabric our shoes in the states between 1966 and1994, I want that back.

What was the biggest success in your career?

This great company, I’ve worked for my dad for 25 years and my daughter is working with me since she’s 5 years old, thats great! I’ve continued it on and she’s continuing it on too. Besides that, 200 countries are selling our products and I am seeing the people on the street wearing Vans that’s just great. I’m living my dream.

Home is?

Home is for me probably BBQ and skate events, there I can talk with thousand of great people and having a good time.

Photography: Robert Wunsch / Highsnobiety.com

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