Fund the Arts with Custom Kicks
Yesterday, the skate shoe brand Vans released a list of finalists for their Custom Culture Contest. The contest asked high school art students to create original pieces of art on Vans shoes. The teenage virtuosos were given blank slates and unlimited design opportunities. The results are impressive, albeit sometimes not actually wearable. Vans narrowed the finalists by regions in the U.S.: California, northwest, southwest, northeast and southeast.
Last year Vans judged the finalists, but this year they have opened it to the public. You can go to the Vans Custom Culture Contest website to see the finalists and vote. The winning schools will get $50,000 donations to their arts programs and the artists will have their designs sold nationally in 2012. Choose your favorite design or rep your hometown like the writers of refinery29.com. Voting closes May 2 so look through the designs this week. You'll be impressed by the skills of these young skateboarding artists and the fun they had with their designs.
This contest shows the benefit, both artistic and monetary, of unique design, a matter integral to the promotional products industry. Even if flashy footwear is not your style or the style of your clients, the sneaks are still worth a look (if only to appreciate some of the future art directors in this industry).
Side note: Skateboarding thrives on branding. Pro skaters need to boast their sponsors at every opportunity so look for branded shoes, shirts, hats, pants, boards and more. The Ultra Brushed with Flame Visor hat from Kati Sportcap, the Fleece Pullover Sweatshirt from A+ Career Apparel and Shoelaces from Marathon/Prestige are a few suggestions. Also, skateboarding competitions needs to showcase the competitors, vendors and other participants with banners, tents, etc. Try the Gazebo/Tent from Peerless Umbrella.