Paul Van Doren decided to move west to Southern California along with his partners, Jim Van Doren, Gordy Lee and Serge D'Elia (all of whom had experience in the shoe manufacturing business), and open the first Vans shoe store in Anaheim, California on March 15, 1966. They filled the first store with empty boxes and actually made the shoes in the factory for their first 12 customers in the morning to be picked up in the afternoon. They hadn't thought of having change on hand so they instructed their customers to come back and pay for their shoes the next day. All 12 came back to pay.
In 1976, skateboarders began wearing Vans shoes and asked to have different colors combined on them. Professional skateboarders started designing shoes and the shoes quickly became the craze of Southern California.
Today Vans continues to produce its line of classics in new colours and patterns and collaborates with designers to create limited edition sneakers for streetwear and the collector alike.
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