Vans’ #LivingOffTheWall visuals show their punk roots

On March 16, 1966, in Anaheim, California, brothers Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren created the highly recognizable shoe company, Vans. Their company quickly gained popularity among the skateboarding scene and the 1970’s Los Angeles punk rock scene. The classic Vans look was every skateboarders and punk rockers go to shoe.


As the popularity of skateboarding grew so did the demand for Vans’ signature classic shoe. In the last decade Vans has become one of the biggest names in the skateboarding and surfing industry.

However, Vans has not forgotten about their punk rock roots and their social media campaign, #LivingOffTheWall, highlights how they continue to show love to the underground scene that first supported them.

livingoffthewall_01The #LivingOffTheWall campaign features visuals of cultural rebellion, spiked colorful hair, piercings, tattoos, angry youths, graffiti art and loud aggressive fast music that relates to being punk rock or “off the wall.”

The company describes, “off the wall” as a “state of mind, thinking differently. Embracing creative self-expression. Choosing your own line on your board and in your life.”

Vans is using Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, and their blog to spread these visuals and share their documentary series on the current East Los Angeles punk scene.

The documentary Backyard Struggle, by Angela Boatwright, follows three young individuals who describe their involvement and passion with the backyard punk rock scene. Nekro, one of the individuals tells his story of singing in a punk band that performs only in backyards around the East Los Angeles area.

Boatwright’s work is one of many documentaries that share the story of people, places and things that illustrate what the company calls, “commitment to originality.”

The #LivingOffTheWall campaign visual gives Vans a strong youthful personality different from its competitors. It makes them resemble the rebellious, loud, tattooed, but super cool storytelling friend you love to listen to, instead of the stereotypical corporation trying to sell you a new pair of shoes.


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