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VANS Style #36 - custom-made at any possible colorway to choose In the early days, Vans stuck with the custom-made idea of the Anaheim fac- tory days, visualized in the 1979 advertisement featuring a shoemaker sewing together shoes for skaters waiting to go pacing out the door. After all, the Van Dorens had over 20 years experience in the shoe business under their belts. So a customer, to them, meant someone who would receive custom-made shoes. Did we mention that you could bring your own materials, mean- ing ANY KIND OF FABRIC to the store to be made into Vans? Yep, snake leather, tiger fur, corduroy – if the shoe makers could stitch it together, it could be turned into a shoe, ready to be picked up at the Anaheim factory after a week. Hard to believe in today’s age of mass-manufactured kicks – but even two separate colorways for each foot were an option. While sneaker enthusiasts today spend their time musing over off-the-wall shoe design ideas – “Dude, leopard hide front section, wouldn’t that be dope?!“ – skaters back then could head to the Vans store and just get it done. Even beats customization on the Internet, doesn’t it? 37