A look inside the Vans Headquarters
18 Jul, 2011
Since 1966, Vans has stood for authenticity in lifestyle, music and action sports through their footwear. Over the years, the brand has gone through different owners and is now owned by VF Corp. Under the umbrella lies Pro-Tec which was founded in 1973 and is the original action sports protective gear brand. The same interests that started the company have continued to grow with the name and the expansion of Vans into clothing, footwear and snowboard gear. I’ve owned Vans boots for a decade for their durability and worn their shoes for even longer, every step of the way.
It may look like your typical office building from the outside but once you get closer the Vans checkered image is all over the headquarters in Cypress, CA.
On the outside there’s a couple clues you’ve arrived at the Vans Headquarters
Upon entering the doors at Vans, a huge Vans photograph greets you with a pleasant reminder of the history behind the company and the development of the brand through the So-Cal skateboarding scene in the 70’s. We waited in the lobby for our tour guide, Vans/Pro Tec product developer Jesse Garrison.
For the past 18 years, Vans has utilized their 45 year footwear experience to build snowboard boots that are a reflection of Vans deep boardsports heritage. While walking through the memorabilia hallway, the original snowboard boots were on display. Rad to see the Vans style hasn’t changed but the quality, durability and technology has grown since then.
A display showcasing the Artist Canvas shoes
The first stop of the tour was the indoor skating bowl. It was Kids Day on the day we visited so the kids were playing in the bowl running and jumping around.
We dropped into the retail side of the Vans office, which handles all the Vans stores and outlet stores. There is a mock-up Vans full size store on that side of the office to give a better example of what goes in place and designing the stores with the Vans image.
During our tour, we got to see everything but unfortunately could only take pictures of some of the tour. Since most of the 12-13 Vans and Pro Tech designs were in progress, there was a lot to see but not photograph including the entire product development area. Earlier this year, I joined the Vans wear test program to send my feedback on how the snowboard boots have held up during the season and it was rad to see the next collection of Vans boots coming down the line (and get to experience early).
At the end of the tour, Jesse took us into the warehouse to deck us out in Pro-Tec gear for this summer’s mountain biking. I had plenty of scrapes and bruises that explained just how badly I needed some protection. No need for a cart when you can carry it on a skateboard down the halls.
Inside the Vans cafeteria/lunchroom were plenty of vending machines, a pool table, ping pong table and plenty of space to relax on your lunch break.
Just in case the skate ramp isn’t enough, there’s a gym at the office to get your bulk on during the day.