Attention Artists: Vans Custom Culture Is Here and Has Gone Global

Attention Artists: Vans Custom Culture Is Here and Has Gone Global

The winner of this year’s shoe customization competition will get a $25,000 USD grand prize, score a trip to the Vans HQ and have his or her winning shoe design produced and sold by Vans



Hindi ko inisip na aabot sa merkado yung sapatos ko. Hindi ko inisip yung cash prize. Gusto ko lang talaga sumali. Gusto ko lang sumali para sa sining.”


With the latest news just in, we find ourselves revisiting our chat with one Nikko Pelaez, whom last year, just wanted to try his luck at Vans Custom Culture…and ended up taking first prize. The first Filipino to win the designer competition since its expansion to Asia, Pelaez’s life as an artist ceases to ever be the same. Now it’s time for another run and for another designer’s life to change.


Vans, the original action sports brand and advocate for creative expression, has announced the launch of Global Custom Culture, an interactive shoe customization contest that provides artists a means for self-expression through digital and canvas mediums that are unique to the brand. This marks the inaugural year of Global Custom Culture––the first of its kind––where creatives from around the world can turn the iconic Vans shoe into their personal art piece.


“Our goal through Vans Global Custom Culture is to create a platform that is accessible to everyone,” shared Vans Senior Director of Global Brand Marketing April Vitkus. “A barrier to creativity is having access to the tools needed to create something unique, and as a brand, it’s our purpose and commitment to provide a range of platforms to empower and enable individuals.”




Last year, Pelaez went up against artists from 10 other countries––namely Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. This year, participating countries now include the USA, Canada, Mexico, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines.


The competition will award three winners (one from North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe) a $25,000 USD grand prize, have their shoes produced and sold by Vans, experience a trip to the Vans design headquarters in Southern California and get an opportunity to partner with Vans to donate $100,000 to a charity that will further enable creative communities.


RELATED: Some of the Most Memorable Vans Sneaker Collaborations in the Past Decade


As the first leg of the competition gets underway, a play-by-play on what to expect, how to join and what to watch out for next:


September 5 to 29

Applicants from participating countries can head to to sign up and join the competition. All creators, artists and fans have to do is download and print the official Vans shoe stencil, apply their own design aesthetic and original concept, digitally photograph their shoe design and see it come to life through 3D rendering technology. Alternatively, entrants can head to select Vans concept stores to get their paper shoe template.


Designs will be judged based on creativity, originality and overall execution.


October 1 to 13

The public will have the chance to vote for their favorite design submission, ultimately helping Vans determine the top 10 finalists from each geographic region. Once the 10 finalists have been selected, they will each receive a pair of Era shoes on which they will apply a new design concept.


The top 10 finalists along with their design entries will be announced on December 5 and online public voting will once again be opened.


December 19

Representatives from the VANS Design and Marketing teams will be joined by art ambassadors in choosing one grand prize winner from each region. The three winners will receive the $25,000-USD cash prize, have their shoes produced and sold by Vans, be flown out to the Vans HQ to meet with global designers, Steve Van Doren and more. Additionally, Vans will partner with each of the winners to donate $100,000 to a charity.



Click on to read up on the frequently asked questions, review the official contest rules or skim through Vans’ submission gallery. You can also stay tuned for more event updates and details on Vans Philippines’ Facebook and Instagram.


Next, get to know more about Vans Custom Culture Asia 2018 winner Nikko Pelaez.



Featured Art Vans Philippines


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