Vans custom
Photography courtesy of Vans

We Get a Preview of the Upcoming Vans Custom Options for 2018 and Beyond

At the WaffleWorks Innovation Center on the Vans campus in Costa Mesa, Calif., I’m watching through a tiny oven window as a glossy black crocodile print (my choice) is being “cooked” onto a pair of clean white canvas shoes. The experimental new Vans custom process needs a 150°C “oven” and all of five minutes, which is way less time than the two years that Vans spent developing this customization technology.

“There have been lots of ups and downs,” says Safir Bellali, the company’s director of innovation. “We were almost ready to give up because the technology wasn’t really delivering.” But persistence paid off, and now Vans can make printing any picture onto a pair of shoes a reality. “It’s just Vans’s attempt at removing all barriers to creativity,” says Bellali. “Our customers [can] choose any silhouette, pick any artwork and really do anything they’d like with the shoes.” There’s no word when we can be expecting this treatment to make its way to stores across North America, but Vans will be expanding their existing customization options throughout this year.