Skate culture has been part of our lives since Vans was founded in 1966 – and it's had a huge influence on not just skateboarding but also fashion and music ever since. The Van Doren Rubber Company officially opened for business in Anaheim, California, in March 1966, with what's now known as the Vans Authentic as the first shoe to launch.
Vans' famous "off the wall" slogan made its debut some ten years later, in 1976. During this period, skateboarders were landing new tricks in empty pools by skating off the wall. As skaters were on the fringes of society, expressing themselves through their passion for their sport, "off the wall" felt like the perfect slogan for a brand that helped skaters live and breathe creativity through skating, art, music, fashion and culture.
Skaters all over California had already been seen sporting Vans shoes thanks to their durability, grip and comfort – all features designed with the demands of skateboarding in mind. Vans' place in skate culture was cemented with the introduction of the "off the wall" slogan and logo, which was inspired by the son of one of the founders, who'd created the logo as a stencil to be spray-painted onto his skateboards.
Vans has been a key part of skate culture ever since, and music has always been a big part of that. The Vans Warped Tour was the largest travelling music festival in the USA and always kept its finger on the pulse of what was relevant in the world of skate music. The tour began as a skate punk and third-wave ska festival but later morphed into a pop-punk and metalcore tour.