You Can Now Vote for High School Design Teams in the Vans Custom Sneaker Contest

For those too young to cast their vote for president, they can still make their voices heard — fashion voices, that is. Skate brand Vans has opened up voting for its Custom Culture program, an art competition designed to inspire creativity and support art education in U.S. high schools.

This year’s top semi-finalists have been announced online, allowing the public to now determine the top five finalists in the running for the grand prize of $75,000. The money will be awarded to the winning high school’s art program, with four $10,000 prizes going to four runner-up school. Voting will continue through May 4th.

To enter the contest, blank canvas Vans shoes were customized by students around specific themes. Schools were challenged to design two pairs around the themes of Local Flavor and Off the Wall. In addition, schools submitted an Impact Document reflecting how their school, its students and the community would be impacted by winning.

This year, a component of Custom Culture is the Ambassador Program, in which celebrities, designers, athletes, musicians, key opinion leaders and other influencers passionate about the arts created their own pair of Vans shoes to help raise awareness for the program. They included Stacy London, co-host of “What Not to Wear,” Cynthia Rowley, fashion designer, Matt Skiba, guitarist of Blink 182, and Davey Havock, leader singer of AFI.

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