Vans co-founder James Van Doren recently passed away at age 72, at his home in Fullerton, CA. Suffering from a long time illness, skateboarding culture has certainly lost one of its most respected game changers.
Van Doren’s Vans company seemingly revitalized and then cultivated skate lifestyle, beginning in sunny California and then spreading throughout the rest of the world. Now the brand legitimately rivals the likes of Nike, as one of the world’s leading shoe manufacturers.
“He was a mechanic, a chemist, the brains behind the early shoe,” said his nephew, Steve Van Doren, one of several family members who still work for the company. “In his garage, he made all the molds for the very first soles,” including the trademark waffle design.
Now a multi-billion dollar company, Vans accounts for the leading provider of skate-related merchandise.
So from a man that dictated what would now be a highly targeted market, even several decades later, to a brand that remains at the forefront of the coinciding industry, Van Doren will surely be missed.