Students can design their own shoes

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - This is a winner from last year's Vans Custom Culture competition. High school artists can enter their designs of Vans shoes in a nationwide competition, the grand prize of which is $50,000 for the school art department. To combat decreased educational funding, Vans created Vans Custom Culture competition, a project to help ignite creativity and raise funds and awareness for the importance of art in high schools all over the United States.

Since 2010, Vans has hosted a nationwide event called Custom Culture, where high school students design their own Vans shoes. The winner is awarded $50,000 toward his or her high school art program.

Registration kicked off in Oregon on Jan. 2 and will continue through Feb. 11. School art programs can register online at

After registration, each school will be tasked with customizing four Vans styles: Old Skool, 106 Vulcanized, Sk8-Hi and Classic Slip-On. Students are charged with designing each pair of shoes to fit within three themes representing the Vans lifestyle, including action sports, art and music and a fourth “local flavor” theme reflecting regional inspiration.

After an internal Vans team narrows the selection, the public will vote through the Vans Custom Culture website from April 22 through May 13. The top five schools will be invited to New York City to showcase their designs before celebrity judges in June, where the grand prize winner will be announced.

For more information students and art teachers should visit The website is the central hub for the contest, providing registration information, contest rules and a kickoff video and program updates.

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