Vans Custom Culture is back for another year

Vans Custom Culture was created to inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design and to bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets. Vans believes everyone should be empowered to express themselves creatively and should be given the tools to do so.

Custom Culture is a national high school customization competition using blank Vans shoes to be customized around specific themes. Once your school's designs are completed, they go through a judging process to narrow down our top 50 entries. Then, it's up to your school and classmates to garner votes from the public to help us choose our top 5. One school will be chosen as the Grand Prize Winner, receiving $75,000 for their art program!

Join the conversation now using #vanscustomculture

Important Dates
  • January 3-31 / Registration
  • February 1-18 / Acceptance of Registrations
  • February 9-23 / Shoes Sent to Accepted Schools
  • March 30 / Image Submissions Due

  • April 23-May 4 / Public Vote

  • May 7-11 / Notification of Top 5
  • May 14-18 / Final Event at Grand Prize School
New this year

Registration is now an application, where all public and private high schools will be allowed to register. Vans will select schools to compete in the contest (not all regisrations will be accepted).

Selected Schools will be challenged to design 2 pairs of shoes around 2 themes: Local Flavor and Off the Wall

In addition to designing their shoes, selected schools will also be submitting an Impact Document reflecting how their school, its students and the community would be impacted by winning $75,000 for their art program

Our Grand Prize school will receive a visit from Vans for a lunch time party with food, drinks, games, and more!

Vans has increased the donation this year! The Grand Prize school will receive $75,000 towards their art program. Four Runner Up schools will receive $10,000 for their art program


Vans Custom Culture will be working with one successful artist each year to be a part of our competition. This artist will use their talent to create the artwork for all things Vans Custom Culture. Our artists are delighted to be supporting youth creativity and encourage everyone to pursue their passion in the arts.

This year, our highlighted artist is Kindah Khallidy. Kindah Khalidy is an artist and author based in San Francisco, California. Her work ranges from colorful paintings on canvas to large scale 3-D installations and textile design.

Our Partners
  • yoobi

    Yoobi creates bright, fun, colorful stuff for school, home and office that gives back! For every Yoobi item purchased, a Yoobi item is donated to a U.S. classroom in need. Vans Custom Culture is excited for Yoobi to be the exclusive arts supplies partner, providing basic art supplies to all confirmed registrants to use and show off their creativity!

    To date, Yoobi has provided school supplies to 3 million kids across the U.S and is proud to continue providing students the supplies they need in art education through partnerships like Vans Custom Culture.

  • Laguna College of Art & Design

    A premiere national art and design college, Laguna College of Art and Design is the first to offer a BFA degree in Action Sports design. For it’s third year, LCAD is offering a $25,000 scholarship to each of the top five finalist schools to allow one individual from each school to earn their BFA in Design + Digital Media.

  • yoobi

    In its seventh year partnering with Vans Custom Culture, Journeys is proud to support student artists and be part of a program that, like Journeys, celebrates youth culture, individuality, passion and style. Journeys is the official Stage Sponsor at the final event and will provide gift cards for the Top 5 design teams in recognition of their accomplishments.

  • yoobi

    Since 2012, Americans for the Arts has worked alongside Vans as Custom Culture’s official national charity partner. Founded in 1960, Americans for the Arts envisions a country where everyone has access to—and takes part in—high quality and lifelong learning experiences in the arts, in the home, school and community. Together, Vans and Americans for the Arts are committed to drawing attention to the importance of arts education nationwide through The Arts Education Navigator and The Vans Custom Culture grant program.