Vans, a manufacturer of skateboarding shoes and related apparel, opens its first community-driven retail and event space in Downtown Los Angeles, United States. The space pays homage to Los Angeles’ deep skateboarding roots and thriving art community over two floors featuring work from a number of local makers, a wide range of Vans footwear, apparel and accessories, and a dedicated community experience studio.
Vans DTLA features a mural from LA-based artist and designer Geoff McFetridge, who accentuated the raw brick and concrete walls of the building with his signature colourful, minimalist work. Atmospheric photos by skate legends Mike O’Meally, Ray Barbee, Tino Razo and Anthony Acosta further highlight LA’s importance in skate culture. The space also showcases work by local sign painter Julien Besser.
“Our Downtown LA store opening signifies a new chapter for the brand 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. Not only will we be opening our doors to the new space, but we will introduce Studio808, located on the second floor of the new store where the community can share their creative energy through workshops, exhibitions and more.”
Furthering the brand’s commitment to LA skateboarding, the brands DTLA store features a dedicated skate shop within the space that stocks hard goods from Los Angeles-based brands like Alva, Baker, Girl, and WKND alongside the full collection of Vans Pro Skate footwear and apparel. A selection of publications curated by DTLA gallery and store THESE DAYS rounds out the retail offering and gives customers a deeper look into local culture.
The second floor of Vans DTLA is home to Studio808, a community-driven gallery, lounge and workshop space, created in partnership with lifestyle magazine Monster Children. The studio will serve as a central hub for consumers and creatives with the goal of giving back to the local community. Offering hands-on art and design workshops, free of charge, Studio808’s ultimate aim is to build a platform for education to uplift underserved members of the community.
“We are excited to be opening our first retail and event space in Downtown Los Angeles,” said Mitch Whitaker, VP/GM, Americas at Vans. “For 54 years, Vans has called California home. We are 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.”
Solidifying Vans dedication to the DTLA neighbourhood, the brand has partnered with non-profit organisations Goodwill and Chrysalis to source from a talent pool that Vans have not tapped into.
Goodwill and Chrysalis have workforce development initiatives that work with previously homeless and at-risk youth. Vans goal is to hire staff directly from the community in order to develop a diverse workforce.