Vans' classic Era silhouette debuted in 1976 as the company began to align itself with the professional skateboarding community, cementing the brand's punk status as the official sponsor of America's outlaw youth culture.
"It [was] like saying we're going to sponsor burglars," Vans vice-president of creative Jamie Reilly told The Drum.
Now, both Vans and skateboarding are in the American mainstream. The company is looking to push into new markets while introducing upgraded footwear technology to satisfy loyal fans.
Marking this global push, Vans launched its 'ComfyCush High School' activation to introduce the new ComfyCush tech. It brought guests back to their rebellious high school days and had them take Vans-themed classes like the history behind the brand and the science behind the sneakers.
The activation series kicked off yesterday (21 February) in Brooklyn and will take off to other global locations, including London and Shanghai.
Vans has also posted black and white ads above and below ground throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn as part of the larger ComfyCush campaign, done entirely in-house.
Now that ComfyCush has gone live, a color-version of the ads highlighting the new shoe will be posted over half the original ads, bridging together the old and new Vans Era.