Vans custom culture competition makes some tread

Melissa Shallcross's surf themed vans. Photo by: Allison Novak

Melissa Shallcross’s surf themed vans. Photo by: Allison Novak

The second annual Vans Custom Culture competition features SHS students looking to make it big with a design featured on a new speciality Vans shoe.

  For the competition, four students are selected by art teacher Wesley Myers to design on a certain shoe (all different styles) in a certain category. Each student is each given the topic of either action sports, local flavor, art, or music to interpret in their own way to place it into their design.

  “The Vans competition is held every spring,” said Myers. “It benefits everybody because the youth artists are allowed to showcase their work, and then Vans gets some free designers to design… shoes for them.”

  This year seniors Melissa Shallcross and Hailey Page, along with sophomore Hannah Wistort and freshman Mikaela Hensen were the lucky four that were able to participate in this nationwide event.

Senior Hailey Page’s Warped Tour design is shown above. Photo by: Allison Novak
Sophomore Hannah Wistort’s design features henna designs.  Photo by: Allison Novak

  Shallcross thought long and hard on the perfect design for her shoes.

Senior Melissa Shallcross’s surf themed Vans incorporate real seashells.                    Photo by: Allison Novak

  “It took awhile, but I went through all the different types of sports because my theme was action sports,” said Shallcross. “I decided that surfing would probably be the best for me.”

  All candidates took time out of their busy everyday schedules to perfect their shoe designs.

  Mikaela Hensen who had the category of local flavor found great success in asking an art expert for advice.

Freshman Mikaela Hensen’s Philly themed shoes incorporate various images.  Photo by: Allison Novak

  “[Photography teacher] Mr. Bowers helped me out,” said Hensen. “We figured out we wanted to do Philadelphia, so we decided we would play off of that design and play off of the graffiti that’s all over the place and all of the monuments.”

  After completing their designs, all of the Vans shoes are photographed. These photos are then sent to Vans, and the competition begins. The thousands of entries are narrowed down into regions until eventually revealing the winning design. This winner gets their design produced, and Vans manufactures them. Last year’s winning designs are available for purchase on the Vans website.