Vans began in 1966 as the Van Doren Rubber Company producing shoes for different sports such as basketball, baseball, and wrestling. These products did not sell very well, and in 1983, Vans was forced to file for bankruptcy. Three years later, Vans paid back all creditors and came out of bankruptcy, in part because, according to the company history, "Vans Slip-Ons gained international attention and appeal when they were worn by Sean Penn in the 1982, iconic youth film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. "Penn's black and white checkered Vans ... [took the company] from like ... $20 million to ... $800 million ... after that film came out," Marketplace reported in 2009.
In 1994, Vans began manufacturing overseas and sponsored the Inaugural Triple Crown series which developed into the Vans Triple Crown series. In 1998, Vans opened a 46,000 square-foot, indoor-outdoor Vans Skate park at the Block in Orange County and in 2002 an enclosed skatepark was opened in the Festival Bay Mall on International Drive in Orlando, Florida. In 2000 and 2001, Forbes recognized Vans as one of “America’s Best Small Companies." In 2004, Vans launched the Vans Customs on their website. This allowed customers to log onto the Vans website and design their own pair of Vans Slip-ons, mid-cuts, or high-tops.
Ummm...Need I say more?
Also one more photo b/c I feel that it is somewhat relevant.