Highsnobiety
Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Vans brand co-founder Paul Van Doren has passed away, NBC News reports. The 90-year-old footwear innovator died on Friday, May 7. The cause of death has not been made public.

"Paul was not just an entrepreneur; he was an innovator," said VF Corp. in a statement. "Paul's bold experiments in product design, distribution, and marketing, along with his knack for numbers and efficiency turned a family shoe business into a globally recognized brand."

Van Doren and his brother Jim Van Doren (who died in 2011) — along with partners Gordon Lee and Serge Delia — established the Van Doren Rubber Company in 1966, which later became known as House of Vans. The brand officially rebranded as Vans Inc. in 1991 and was sold to V Corp. in 2004.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

In the early ’60s, Van Doren's shoes would be made to order at the brand’s Anaheim, California HQ and handed to customers on the same day as the orders were placed, with a starting price of $2.49. Over the next few decades, Vans canvas and rubber silhouettes became synonymous with laid-back Californian skater style (a fact reflected in the "off the wall" and spear-shaped skateboard deck branding, which was added in the 1970s) and transformed into the $2 billion-a-year brand it is today.

Talking to The LA Times about his dad's business acumen, Steve Van Doren, said, “My dad was a systems guy. He did things like color-coding the boxes, blue for men, green for women, and orange for boys, so you could see what inventory you had right away. He would only open stores that had a free right-hand exterior wall because he thought that was the best place to catch someone’s eye if they were driving by.”

In his memoir Authentic, which was published last month, Van Doren wrote that giving customers what they want is the key to success. “If it’s a checkerboard, if it’s bright pinks and yellows, or if it happens to be dinosaurs or a skull and crossbones, listen to their two cents’ worth about colors and designs,” he said.

We Recommend
  • Pushing the Next Generation: Introducing the AVE 2.0, Vans' Most Advanced Skate Shoe Yet
    • Sneakers
    • sponsored
  • COMME des GARÇONS' New Vans Sneakers Are for the Heads
    • Sneakers
  • OG Skate Photog Atiba Jefferson Is Ushering In Vans' New Era
    • Sneakers
  • Meet the Knu Comers: Introducing the Vans Knu Skool Class of 2024
    • Sneakers
    • sponsored
  • OTW by Vans' First Collab Is Loud Luxury
    • Sneakers
What To Read Next
  • Mercedes' First Electric G-Wagon Is Too Damn Beautiful
    • Culture
  • Marc Jacobs, Master of Marc-eting
    • Style
  • In Praise of COS, the Affordable Fashion Brand of the Moment
    • Style
  • The Star of Stüssy's Levi's Collab Isn't Denim!
    • Style
  • New Balance's Techy Loafer Is Shockingly Suave in Suede
    • Sneakers
  • Travis Scott's Rage-Ready Jordan Sneakers Make Their Big Leap
    • Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titel Media GmbH (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titel Media GmbH strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titel Media GmbH tests, remediates and maintains the Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.