Who knew that a high school drop-out from Boston would start up one of the funkiest sneaker companies in America? After dropping out of school at 14, Paul Van Doren’s mom made him get a job at Randy’s, the local shoe factory. He worked there making shoes and sweeping factory floors. From there the story is just awesome!
Paul Van Doren literally made it from the bottom to the top at Randy’s. With Paul as Executive Vice President, the factory had become the third largest manufacturer of shoes in the USA. One of the Randy’s factories was located in Gardenville, California, and it was losing money in a big way. Paul, his brother Jim and long time friend Gordon Lee were sent to California to turn the factory around. In only eight short months, they did it!
After that project was finished, Paul decided he would take on the challenge of starting a new sneaker brand. Paul, Jim and a business associate, Serge D’Elia, partnered up and moved to Southern California. They set up shop in Anaheim in March ’66, where the new Vans sneaker brand was to be made and sold. In the first morning, 12 people purchased Vans deck sneakers, now known as the Authentic. There were only samples, so the customers had to come back later in the day and pick them up. The shoes were made right in the store. That was the beginning!
In the ’70s skateboarders took notice of Vans style and the trend was set. The Vans #95, known today as the Era, was designed by Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva. The Era has been the sneaker of choice for generations. In ’79, the Vans Slip-On was the real deal, worn by skateboarders and BMX riders across the country. In ’82 Sean Penn put Vans on the map worldwide when he wore Vans Slip-Ons in the iconic youth film ?Fast Times at Ridgemont High?. The rest is history!
You can find over 30 different styles and colors of men’s and women’s Vans sneakers at SoHo Sneaker Shop. Be sure to check out the cool new women’s sneaker called the Wellesley Hi. Visit the website for a fun adventure and great buys. Take off, ride, skateboard, wear Vans!