Vans’ 50th Anniversary Celebration

I’ll never forget when Wesley Nessler walking into my 9th grade class at Ft. Lauderdale High wearing checkerboard slip on shoes. I remember thinking to myself, what in the world is this kid wearing? Well, I didn’t hesitate to ask, and quickly found out that these trend setting kicks were Vans. It’s now decades later, and it would be hard to find someone who doesn’t know those shoes and that design, and as I walked through the door at the Vans’ 50th Anniversary celebration Wednesday evening, I was not surprised to find that checkerboard design in full effect.

From the super cool 3D art installations, iconic surf films and classic photography exhibit, it became quite clear that Vans has been a huge influence in American lifestyle, culture, art and sport for a very long time. Furthermore, Vans has become a cultural pillar that stands alone in its broad range of influence. It would only be fitting for the company to tie this historic evening together with diverse music performances that also span across many generations.

The modern day rockers Yeasayer kicked things off with a an impressive set of hits and newer jams, while New York hip hop legend Nas brought the roof down with classics and some newer cuts. The energy level in the room was off the charts at this point as the night was beginning to wind down.

It was great to see so many smiling faces in the huge crowd of both young and older guests. They experienced a special evening that will be remembered for a lifetime. Hat’s off to Vans for all of their great success and their soon to be released campaign, “The Story of Vans.”