About Vans Custom Culture
Vans Custom Culture Mission
In its fifth year, the Vans Custom Culture art competition inspires high school students across the United States to embrace their creativity and draws attention to the importance of art as an integral part of our schools' focus in the face of shrinking budgets.

Competition Overview

The first 2,000 U.S.-based public or private high schools (Sorry no home schools or community programs may enter), to register for Vans Custom Culture according to our official rules will receive four pairs of Vans shoes (106, Sk8-Hi, Slip On and Authentic) to customize!

Each pair must be customized to represent one of four themes: Action Sports (Defined as boards and bikes, not stick and ball!) Music, Art, and Local Flavor (Inspired by your surrounding community, city or state). ONE THEME PER PAIR!

Photo submissions are made online via the Vans Custom Culture website after which an internal selection and external public vote will whittle the entries down to a group of five finalists who will travel to New York City for the Vans Custom Culture Final Event.

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how your school can participate in Custom Culture 2014:
Register Your School
You must have a teacher or administrator register your school at www.vans.com/customculture beginning January 6th at 12noon EST. Only the first 2,000 schools will be eligible, and only one teacher from each school may register. Once your teacher submits your school's registration, they'll receive an automated e-mail with a link they'll need to click to confirm their registration. We'll be reviewing each school that registers daily for accuracy and legitimacy! Registration officially ends on February 14th at noon EST. We'll begin sending out shoes once registration ends.
Wait for your shoes
Each registered teacher will receive shoes sometime between February 14th and 28th. They will be delivered to your school's address! Each school will receive four pairs of shoes: 106, Sk8 Hi, Slip On and Authentic. To prepare, download shoe templates at www.vans.com/customculture so you're ready to start customizing as soon as they arrive.
Customize Your Shoes
Get busy customizing your four pairs of Vans! It's up to you and your teacher to decide how the shoes are customized and whether you work on them individually or in groups. Just remember, the design must be 100% original and cannot reference any celebrity likeness or include copyrighted material. Each pair must align with one of the following themes: Art, Music, Action Sports and Local Flavor. Remember, Action Sports must reference sports that use boards or bikes (Skateboarding, BMX, Wakeboarding, Surfing, Snowboarding etc), NOT sports like soccer, baseball and football.
Submit your design
Once your shoes are complete, your teacher must login to access their account using the password they created at registration and upload five images of the customized shoes (one image for each of the four pairs and one group shot). Shoe photos must be taken against a plain, one color background and cannot include props or people in the shot. Submissions will be accepted between February 28th and April 7th.
The top 50 semi-finalists
Once all the submissions are in, Vans staff will narrow them down to a group of 50 semi-finalists (ten schools per region, five total regions). We'll announce that group and open up the site to public online voting on April 25th. This vote will determine the five finalist schools. If your school is one of the 50 semi-finalists, congratulations! This is the time to spread the word to everyone you know to vote for your shoes online at www.vans.com/customculture. Voting will start on April 25th and end on May 12th at 12noon EST.
For the second year, our program partner, truth, will be giving the 50 Semi-Finalists the chance to customize a skate deck inspired by their reaction to the following ugly truth about big tobacco: In 2006, a judge ruled that Big Tobacco had been engaged in a 50-year scheme to deceive the public about the dangers of smoking.
The top 5 finalists
The five schools as determined by online voting will be contacted on May 12th to confirm their availability to travel to New York City for an all expenses paid three day trip, including a star studded event to crown the contest winner.
The grand prize winner will receive a $50,000 donation to their art program and to sweeten the deal, the four runners up will each receive $4,000 prizes for their programs too. Our partner, Journeys, will also be awarding prize money to the school with the best Local Flavor themed shoe in the amount of a $10,000 donation to that school's art program.
For more information, check out our FAQ or drop us a note on our Facebook wall at www.facebook.com/vanscustomculture. If you still have questions, send an e-mail to customculture@vans.com and someone on our team will reply to you as soon as possible.