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Vans have been manufacturing shoes since the late 60’s. In their beginning US brothers Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren opened their first store in California and manufactured shoes and sold them directly to the public for a mere $4.00. This was the birth of the authentic with only three styles and shortly after came the Eras and the slip-ons. During the 70’s Vans was also under contract with the U.S Air Force to produce wool-lined canvas and rubber mukluks (winter boots).
Within twenty years Vans had exploded in popularity and was making shoes and apparel for sports such as skateboarding, wake-boarding, motocross, and surfing but like everything what goes up must come down. Paul Van Doren filed for bankruptcy in 1984 which looked like an end of an era but Vans quickly paid off its debts and came back stronger and better than ever with the release of countless new shoes and apparel pulling in a revenue of over US$50 million and also the opening of some of the world’s largest indoor skate parks.
Vans has an astounding bunch of skateboarders on their team they are: Tony Trujillo, Geoff Rowley, Anthony Van Engelen, Chima Ferguson, Gilbert Crockett, Dustin Dollin, Marvin Andrei Salting, John Joseph Salting, Chris Pfanner, Curren Caples, Jason Dill, Daniel Lutheran, Elijah Berle, Keegan Sauder, Omar Hassan, Pedro Barros and finally Alex Perelson.
Now 50 years on the company is still run by Steve and Paul Van Doren along with sister and daughter. It is running stronger than ever with openings to more indoor skate parks, public parks and a full length Vans Skateboarding video.
Anthony Van Engelen or AVE is an American professional skateboard who grew up in San Diego CA. AVE first made pro statues in 1999 by Alien Workshop at age 21, which was the same year he shared a Transworld part with Jason Dill. in 2003 Ave released a part for his then shoe sponsor DC for The DC Video. In 2005 he quite DC to ride for Vans and ended up leaving Alien Workshop to form FA or Fucking Awesome with fellow skateboarder Jason Dill. Ave is still killing it to this day with his recent Vans Propella part reconfirming him as still one of the best skaters out. Today Ave is sponsored by Vans, Vans Apparel, Independent Trucks, FA, and Spitfire.