Vans Kicks Off International Sneaker Design Contest With Chance to Have Shoes Produced & Sold

Sneaker doodlers now have an opportunity to make bank for their efforts.

Vans announced today Global Custom Culture, a custom shoe contest, which invites artists internationally to create using the brand’s kicks as their canvas. Now through Sept. 29, artists can begins summiting their entries by heading to Custom-culture.vans.com to download and print a stencil of a Vans sneaker and design the shoe. Next, the entrant snaps digital photographs of the design and then see it come to life through 3D rendering technology.

The skate-wear giant will name three winners from North America, Asia Pacific and Europe. Each winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize, a trip to Vans’ Southern California design headquarters and the opportunity to have their shoe designs produced and sold by Vans. The brand will also donate $100,000 per winner to charities of their choice that empower creative communities.

Vans, sneaker design, contest
The submission screen for the Vans sneaker design contest.


After the initial submission period, entries will be voted on by the general public from Oct. 1 to Oct. 13. The top 10 finalists from each region will be sent a pair of Vans Era sneakers to apply their digital design to a real shoe. The top 10’s designs will be displayed online starting Dec. 5, where they’ll be put to vote once again. The three grand prize winners will be chosen by Vans on Dec. 19.

“Our goal through Vans Global Custom Culture is to create a platform that is accessible to everyone,” said April Vitkus, senior director of global brand marketing. “A barrier to creativity is having access to the tools needed to create something unique, and as a brand it’s our purpose and commitment to provide a range of platforms to empower and enable individuals.”

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