Paul Van Doren, co-founder of shoes and apparel brand Vans, died aged 90, the company announced on Facebook on Friday, May 7 (US time).
“Paul was not just an entrepreneur; he was an innovator. The Van Doren Rubber Company was the culmination of a lifetime of experimentation and hard work in the shoe industry,” Vans wrote.
“Paul’s bold experiments in product design, distribution and marketing, along with his knack for numbers and efficiency turned a family shoe business into a globally recognized brand,” they added.
“We send our love and strength to the Van Doren family and the countless Vans Family members who have brought Paul’s legacy to life. Thank you for everything, Paul. You will be sorely missed.”
Van Doren’s cause of death had not been revealed.
Boston-born Van Doren first launched the iconic skateboard shoe brand with his brother Jim Van Doren and partners Gordon Lee and Serge Delia in 1966. They set up their first factory and Vans store in Anaheim, California, which eventually became known as the “House of Vans.” Vans’ famous “off the wall” slogan and skateboard deck logo were added in the 1970s.
Van Doren sold the company in 1988 to VF Corporation, who is currently behind retail brands Supreme, The North Face, Timberland, Dickies, and JanSport. To date, there are over 300 Vans stores globally. – Rappler.com