Vans: An O.C. Institution

Vans-factory-1966 (courtesy Vans)

A panel of experts will discuss the story of Orange County-born Vans and their famous shoes at the April 13, 2023 meeting of the Orange County Historical Society, 7:30 pm, Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., in Orange.

The history of globally renowned sneaker and action sports brand Vans, which was originally founded as the Van Doren Rubber Co. in 1966 in Anaheim, will be presented by Vans’ archivist and brand historian Catherine Acosta. Acosta founded Vans’ official archive at their headquarters in Costa Mesa in 2019. Her presentation will be followed by an intimate talk with Steve Van Doren, Vans’ VP of Promotions and Events and the son of Vans co-founder Paul Van Doren; and Bob Provost, one of Vans’ Global Ambassadors, who has been at Vans for over 40 years.

From 1966 until the mid-1990s, Vans owned and operated its own factories in O.C. and has operated stores here since its founding. Creating a unique cultural identity for itself in the mid-1970s when the company embraced and supported the development of skateboarding with its first skate shoe designs, Vans has become a part of Southern California culture.

Skateboarding with Vans!