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Vans Old Skool shoes are one of Vans' most popular skate shoes. They were first created in 1977, at which time they were referred to as the Vans Style #36. They were the first Vans skate shoe to make use of the now very familiar 'side stripe'. The side stripe came to be from a random doodle by Vans' founder, Paul Van Doren, its given name at the time being the 'jazz stripe'. Funny how these things begin.
The Vans Old Skool proved popular, particularly in the 1980s, for people who wanted to customise their Vans. Something the company has always tried to react to and incorporate in their designs. Don't forget, at the original Vans store in Anaheim, California, customers could literally bring fabric they wanted their shoes made out of and Vans would happily oblige. The many panels and different materials of the Vans Old Skool particularly lend themselves to this desire for customisation. The shoe was almost considered a canvas for individuals to express their personalities.
Leading on from this idea of customisation, the Vans Old Skool has been a shoe on which Vans have based countless collaborations. Whether this be more mainstream collaborations with companies such as Marvel or Disney. Vans also collaborated with bands that had taken to wearing the shoe, including The Descendents, Slayer and others. The Vans Old Skool has also been adopted by higher-end fashion houses, and streetwear focused brands, such as Marc Jacobs in the first instance, and more regularly with Supreme - who have worked with Vans on multiple versions of the shoe.
The Vans Old Skool is also hugely popular, of course, with skateboarders. Stick on a part of Julien Stranger, Ray Barbee, or Tony Trujillo and you're likely to see them shredding in the Old Skool. It's this versatility, and universal appeal, that has lead to the Vans Old Skool becoming what it is today.
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