Vans Kicks Off Global Shoe Customization Competition to Enable Creative Expression Worldwide

$25,000 Grand Prize, Winning Shoe Design Produced and Sold by Vans, Trip to the Vans HQ and $100,000 Charity Donation

Vans, the original action sports brand and advocate for creative expression, announces the launch of Global Custom Culture, an interactive shoe customization contest made to inspire artists around the world by providing the means for self-expression through digital and canvas mediums unique to Vans. This marks the inaugural year of Global Custom Culture, which is the first of its kind, where artists from around the world can turn a pair of iconic Vans shoes into their personal art piece. The competition will award three winners from North America, Asia Pacific and Europe a $25,000 grand prize, have their shoes produced and sold by Vans, experience a trip to the Vans design headquarters in Southern California, and the opportunity to partner with Vans to donate $100,000 to a charity that will further enable creative communities.

“Our goal through Vans Global Custom Culture is to create a platform that is accessible to everyone,” said April Vitkus, Vans Senior Director of Global Brand Marketing. “A barrier to creativity is having access to the tools needed to create something unique, and as a brand it’s our purpose and commitment to provide a range of platforms to empower and enable individuals.”

Participating markets by region include:

  • North America: USA, Canada, Mexico
  • Europe: Germany, United Kingdom, France
  • Asia: Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan

How it works:

  • September 5 – September 29 consumers from participating markets can go on to sign-up to join the competition. Creators, artists and fans are able to download and print a stencil of a Vans shoe, apply their own design aesthetic, digitally photograph their shoe design and see it come to life through the 3D rendering technology. Select markets will have the opportunity to purchase the design through Vans Customs.
  • October 1 – 13 the public will have the chance to vote for their favorite design submission to help determine the top 10 finalists from each geographic region.
  • Once the top 10 has been selected, the finalists will receive a pair of Era shoes to apply a new design onto Vans’ literal canvas. The top 10 will be announced on December 5, where all the artist’s creations will be displayed online for a public vote.
  • On December 19, Vans representatives from the design and marketing teams, as well as select art ambassadors will choose one grand prize winner in each region to receive the $25,000 cash prize, have their shoes produced and sold by Vans, be flown out to the Vans HQ to meet with global designers, Steve Van Doren and more. Additionally, Vans will partner with each of the winners to donate a $100,000 to a charity.

Throughout the month of September, Vans will host creative workshops globally, as a way to participate and support competition participants in a collaborative environment.

In the UK, Vans will be working in partnership with schuh to run workshops at key universities and be present in one-off instore events in order to spread the message across the nation.

Global Custom Culture reinforces Vans’ dedication to providing communities and individuals the tools to express themselves through creativity. For more information on the latest stories from Vans visit and join the conversation by using #VansCustomCulture on social media.

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