Farm-to-fork shoes from a Sacramento high school in Vans competition

Six years in, Vans Custom Culture continues to inspire creativity and individuality among high school students across the nation. Each year, Custom Culture has challenged them to create their own unique pairs of Vans for a chance to fund art education at their school.

Nearly 3,000 high schools – the most in competition history – participated in this year’s event, designing four pairs of blank Vans based on four themes: Action Sports, Art, Music and Local Flavor. The winning design has the opportunity to be produced and sold in select Vans retail stores, as well as online at

Vans named Carlsbad High School of Carlsbad, Calif. as the grand-prize winner of the sixth annual Vans Custom Culture design competition and awarded a $50,000 donation toward the school’s arts education program. . For the remaining finalists – Circleville High School (Circleville, Ohio), Foothill High School (Henderson, N.V.), McCracken County High (Paducah, K.Y.) and Parker High School (Parker, S.D.) – Vans awarded each with $4,000 toward their arts programs.

Sheldon High School in Sacramento was a California regional finalist. One pair of shoes, called “Local Flavor,” featured a farm-to-fork theme.

“Year after year, Vans Custom Culture surpasses our wildest expectations, from the level of high school participation nationwide to the student creativity we see in all of the designs that come through as part of the competition,” said Kevin Bailey, VF Action Sports Coalition and Vans President.

“With arts education budgets continuing to suffer across the nation, Vans is thrilled to provide a platform to help talented youth find their creative voice and express themselves through art and design. Vans hopes that Custom Culture will inspire others to take up the cause of underfunding of public school arts education and further provide opportunities for creative expression.”


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