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A Diner-Inspired Sneaker Wins Vans Custom Culture Competition

A New Jersey diner inspired the winning design in Vans Custom Culture design competition. In its seventh year, the contest called for high schools to design four pairs of blank Vans based on four themes: action sports, art, music and local flavor.

The winning school, John P. Stevens High School from Edison, N.J., has been awarded a donation of $50,000 for its arts education programs for its hamburger- and sundae-inspired kicks with a nod to Vans’ iconic checkerboard pattern.


In addition to the grand prize, Vans donated an additional $50,000 to non-profit partner, Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading organization for advancing the arts and art education.

Since the inaugural competition, more than 10 percent of high schools nationally have participated in Vans Custom Culture and more than $600,000 has been contributed to support arts programs. Nearly 3,000 high schools registered for this year’s competition.

Art and expression is part of Vans’ DNA. “We created Vans Custom Culture to not only raise awareness of declining arts education budgets across the country, but because we also inherently believe that today’s youth deserve the Right to Art,” said Kevin Bailey, VF and Vans Global Action Sports and Outdoor brand president in a statement. “As such, it is our duty to provide a platform that enables creative expression for generations to come.”