Vans has opened its first-ever community-driven retail and event space, a store that celebrates its Los Angeles locale.
The new Vans outpost — the company’s first in downtown Los Angeles — pays homage to the city’s skateboarding roots and thriving art community and features a wide range of the brand’s footwear, apparel and accessories. The two-floor, 11,500-sq.-ft. space features a mural by LA-based artist and designer Geoff McFetridge, who accentuated the raw brick and concrete walls of the building with his signature colorful, minimalist work. The walls are dotted with photographs taken by legendary skateboarders that highlight the city’s importance in skate culture.
The new Vans also houses a dedicated in-store skate shop that stocks hard goods from assorted Los Angeles-based skateboard brands alongside the full collection of Vans Pro Skate footwear and apparel. It also features a selection of publications curated by the downtown gallery, store and publisher These Days rounds out the retail offering.
The second floor is home to a community-driven gallery, lounge and workshop space, dubbed Studio808, which was created in partnership with lifestyle magazine Monster Children. The studio will serve as a central hub for consumers and creatives and will offer hands-on art and design workshops, free of charge, with an aim “to build a platform for education to uplift underserved members of the community,” according to Vans.
In line with its community commitment, Vans partnered with non-profit organizations Goodwill and Chrysalis, both of which have workforce development initiatives for previously homeless or at-risk youth, to recruit staff for the store. Vans goal is to hire staff directly from the community in order to develop a diverse workforce.
"Our downtown LA store opening signifies a new Vans chapter as we continue our mission and commitment to being community and experience focused," said Carly Gomez, VP of marketing, Americas at Vans. "Downtown LA has a rich history of skate culture and artistic freedom.”
Added Mitch Whitaker, VP/GM, Americas at Vans: "For 54 years, Vans has called California home. We're grateful to be reinforcing the brand's Southern California roots and legacy through this new space that is both reflective of, and designed for, the community and unique experiences."