About Custom Culture
Vans Custom Culture was created to inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design and to bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets. Vans believes everyone should be empowered to express themselves creatively and should be given the tools to do so.
Custom Culture is a national high school customization competition using blank Vans shoes to be customized around specific themes. Once your school's designs are completed, they go through a voting process to narrow down our top 50 entries. Then, it's up to your school and classmates to garner votes from the public to choose our top 5 that go on to compete in our final event. Schools in the top 5 are flown out to Los Angeles, CA to celebrate their artwork and have noted judges votes on the grand prize winning submission, worth $50,000!
Important Dates
New For 2017
We have an additional design component that will be featured on our Vans Customs page. Students are challenged to create a design or print that best exemplifies Technology in Design on a supplied 11x14 sheet of paper.
The winning custom design will be announced on our Customs page (vans.com/customs) on Friday, May 5, with the design available for the public to use when creating their custom shoes.
Download Important Documents
Our Partners
  • In its 6th year partnering with Vans Custom Culture, Journeys is proud to once again bring you the Local Attitude Award. The Local Attitude Award highlights the most compelling Local Flavor theme from one of the Top 5 schools. Journeys will award the best Local Flavor entry with $15,000!!
  • Since 2012, Americans for the Arts has worked alongside Vans as Custom Culture’s official national charity partner. Founded in 1960, Americans for the Arts envisions a country where everyone has access to—and takes part in—high quality and lifelong learning experiences in the arts, in the home, school and community.
    Together, Vans and Americans for the Arts are committed to drawing attention to the importance of arts education nationwide through The Arts Education Navigator and The Vans Custom Culture grant program.
  • A premiere national art and design college, Laguna College of Art and Design is the first to offer a BFA degree in Action Sports design. For it’s third year, LCAD is offering a $25,000 scholarship to each of the top five finalist schools to allow one individual from each school to earn their BFA in Design + Digital Media.
  • At Blick, we believe art education develops the human creativity necessary to solve the world's complex problems, enrich its culture, and provide fulfillment for every person.
    For the second year, Blick is proud to be a sponsor of Vans Custom Culture in inspiring and empowering high school students through art and design. In partnership with Sharpie, Blick will give each of the 3,000 competing schools a 12-Color Sharpie Fine Point Marker Set to use in creating their shoe designs!
    In recognition of their amazing work, Blick will give each of the semi-finalist students (and their teachers) from the top five schools a $50 Blick gift coupon — to fuel their creative expression!
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