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Vans Custom Culture

2018 Custom Culture Contest
2017 Custom Culture Contest
2016 Custom Culture Contest


The 2018 Vans Custom Culture Contest is back for its ninth annual art competition! From now until January 31st both public and private high schools from around the nation can register for the chance to win $75,000 for their school's art program!


Vans created Custom Culture to empower high school students to embrace their creativity and their originality through art and design while encouraging careers in the arts. In this new year Vans is strengthening their commitment to this competition by increasing financial support for the finalists and through strategic artist partnerships in hopes to broaden the pathway for even more creative futures.

The grand prize for the winning school has been increased to $75,000 while the four runner-up school prizes have increased to $10,000. Vans has also reformatted their selection process in order to target schools who haven't been able to support creativity in their curriculum before and who need the support most.

Journeys is proud to be the Official Stage Sponsor for this year's winning school and we will also provide gift cards for the grand prize winners and runner-ups. This competition reflects several of the core values that are instilled in our company culture such as Core Value #4: Encourage Individuality and Embrace Diversity as well as Core Value #10: Embrace and Promote Youth Culture. 2018 marks our 7th year sponsoring this competition and we are thrilled at the opportunity to support the students, their schools, art in education, and our friends at Vans.

Submit your application today! You can join the conversation now using #vanscustomculture and by following @Journeys and @VANS_66 for updates!

Key Dates:

  • Registration:  January 3rd - 31st
  • Acceptance of Registrations: February 1st - 18th
  • Shoes Sent to Accepted Schools: February 9th - 23rd
  • Image Submissions Due: March 30th
  • Public Vote: April 23rd - May 4th
  • Notification of Top 5: May 7th - 11th
  • Final Event at Grand Prize School: May 14th - 18th

Please visit https://customculture.vans.com/ to register your school and for more helpful information regarding this contest. Good Luck!


Vans Custom Culture was created to inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design, and bring awareness to their school's art program and budget. The Top 5 Finalists will be flown to the Final Event, where a Grand Prize winner will be determined. The winner of the Grand Prize will receive $50,000 for their school art program.

Vans Custom Culture 2017 Winner

This year, 3,000 high schools registered for the Vans Custom Culture contest and received a box containing four blank pairs of Vans to design around four themes: art, music, action sports, and local flavor. Your votes have been tallied and the semifinalists have been announced. They will compete in the final event in Los Angeles, California.

Vans Local Flavor

In its sixth year partnering with Vans Custom Culture, Journeys is proud to once again bring you the Local Attitude Award. The Local Attitude Award highlights the most compelling Local Flavor theme from one of the top 5 schools. Journeys will award the best Local Flavor entry with $15,000! The winner of the 2017 Journeys Local Flavor award goes to Friendswood High School from Friendswood, Texas.


Journeys presented the 5th Annual Journeys Local Attitude Award at the Vans Custom Culture event in Los Angeles in June 2016. Vans Custom Culture is a program that inspires high school students across the United States to embrace their creativity and even more importantly draws attention to their school’s arts program and shrinking budget. Journeys has committed to awarding $15,000 to the school with the best “Local Flavor” themed shoe to fund their art program. The 2016 Journeys Local Flavor winner was Moanalua High School from Honolulu, Hawaii.

Vans Custom Culture 2016 Journeys

Vans, the original action sports and youth culture brand, crowned John P. Stevens High School from Edison, N.J. as the winner of the Vans Custom Culture design competition. As the grand-prize winner, John P. Stevens High School was awarded a donation of $50,000 for the school’s arts education programs to help foster the students’ #RightToArt and support the next generation of creative individuals.

Shop the Vans collection at Journeys.com.

Shop the Vans collection at Journeys Kidz.

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