5 fun facts about Vans in celebration of their 50th anniversary

Golden jubilee

Text: Andrea Sim

In spirit of the half-century old lifestyle brand reaching a momentous milestone, here are five neat tidbits chronicling the youth's footwear label of choice

It's probably an oversimplification to label Vans as a cult brand. With 50 years in the game kitting out teens, club kids and sports fanatics the world over, their immersion in subculture — everything from music, to art and fashion — have placed them on a fast track to global domination. 

So, what better way to celebrate a legendary five decade hoorah than painting the town gold? Releasing limited edition collectibles in their 50th Anniversary Gold pack, the Classic Slip-On, Sk8-Hi and Old Skool models amongst others, are refurbished in jubilee tones. Accompanied by a lesson on the company's rich history, we share Vans' commemorative capsule collection as well as five "off the wall" fun facts about the American lifestyle brand. 

Vans 50th anniversary Gold pack

1. Originally the Van Doren Rubber Company, brothers Paul and Jim Van Doren began manufacturing deck shoes — with their signature gummy sole — on location in 1996, and selling them to customers. Fulfilling their first morning order of 12 shoes in the afternoon on the same day, the #44 deck shoe (better known as the Authentic) were the orignal Vans sneakers.

Vans 50th anniversary gold elevated Authentic

2. The Old Skool model (also known as Vans #36) featuring a zig-zag side stripe had humble beginnings as a random doodle by Paul Van Doren. 

50th anniversary gold elevate Old Skool

3. The Era (Vans #95) designed by American skateboarders Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta in 1976 also marks the year the company undertook 'Off the Wall' as its slogan of empowerment. 

50th Anniversary gold elevated Era

4. Launched in 1977 and proliferating quickly amongst the skaters and BMX bikers, the Classic Slip-Ons (Vans #98) caught mainstream attention after Sean Penn donned a pair in Amy Heckerling's Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). 

50th anniversary gold elevated Classic Slip-On

5. To protect the ankles of skateboarders, Vans first released the Sk8-Hi in 1978, also known as the Vans #38. The tubular "ankle guard" sets it apart from the Old Skool model. 

50th anniversary gold elevated Sk8-Hi Slim

Shop the 50th Anniversary Gold pack collection at Vans boutiques located at Ion Orchard, Bugis+ and Jurong Point.