Vans Founder Paul Van Doren Reflects on 50-Plus Years of Skate Royalty in Authentic Memoir
Sneakerheads and skaters might be intimately familiar with the iconic waffle-soled sneakers of SoCal brand Vans, but some may not be as encyclopaedic about the company’s history... until now. Founder Paul Van Doren will soon release a memoir, appropriately entitled Authentic, that looks back on the pioneering moves and business decisions made over the course of nearly 60 years that have helped turn a humble shoe factory in Anaheim into an internationally-recognised mega brand.
Authentic chronicles the history of Vans through PVD’s eyes, recounting the innovative brand experiments such as made-to-order colourways and organic entry into youth culture, culminating in on-foot cameos in seminal skate film ,Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Naturally, not every test turned out successful – the company endured a particularly tough period of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the mid-1980s following an overzealous diversification of their product categories, among other reasons – and PVD reflects on these difficult moments. Of course, there are triumphs too.
Being a personal memoir, Authentic details plenty of behind-the-scenes stuff that the highly polished Vans brand of today probably wouldn’t divulge. As it’s all being written straight from the source, rest assured that all the contents of Authentic are exactly what the title suggests!
Authentic is published by Vertel Publishing, and is due to release in late April.