Book Review : Vans Off The Wall “Stories of Sole”

August 21, 2011

Product Description
Vans: Off the Wall illustrates through vivid photography and a compelling oral history how a casual canvas shoe and a do-it-yourself spirit have helped turn pop culture inside out.

Vans: Off the Wall tells the multi-generational story of the community that encompasses boards, bikes, art, music, and street culture, as well as the iconic shoes keeping it all together. With oral histories from Tony Alva, Joel Tudor, Steve Caballero, Stacy Peralta, Oliver Peck and others, Vans: Off the Wall provides an intimate, visually stunning account of how the company has changed the face of pop culture since its founding in 1966. The book features photography by the top action sports and lifestyle photographers in the world, including Craig Stecyk, Bryce Kanights, Grant Brittain, Art Brewer, and Trevor Graves, all presented with an energetic design that evokes both a punk zine aesthetic and California coastal cool.

About the Author
Doug Palladini has been a leader in action-sports media for more than two decades. Palladini was the founding editor of Snowboarder magazine and later served as publisher for Snowboarder, Surfer, Skateboarder, Powder, Bike, Box, and Gravity magazines. From 2000 to 2002, he served as executive vice president at BrandWeek named Palladini Marketer of the Year in 2006.

There are so many footwear companies in the world, but only one sticks out like dogs balls and that’s Vans.

We all know they make shoes, but if you look deeper into the brands history and Paul Van Doren’s vision, he stood for more then just a canvas shoe with a waffle sole, he stood for service and quality.

Thanks to Abrahams Publishing and Doug Palladini, this historical ‘movement’ has been documented into a 280 page hard cover book called Vans Off The Wall “Stories of Sole”. For the fans of Vans, this book is a definite must have as it goes through the history of Vans, Paul Van Doren’s vision, all the different events that they have been involved in and people they have worked with (plus heaps more goodness).

One thing that we really appreciate about this book is the fact that Steve Van Doren (son of founder Paul) talked about the brand from his perspective as a fan, VP of promo, and more importantly as the son of the founder. It’s interesting how some brands turn corporate (like Nike and Adidas), but with Vans, its always stuck with Paul’s vision of being a brand for the people, by the people. That’s how, in our humble opinion, they have managed to stand the test of time.

Like all books, it begins a little formally with explanations of the shoe’s defining features like its side stripe, Off The Wall skateboard logo, waffle sole and black-and-white checkerboard. Might sound a little boring, but, for those who aren’t well acquainted with the brand, you will very soon be. The book then quickly changes its approach from being text book like to profiling Vans icons Tony Alva, Joel Tudor, Geoff Rowley, Randy Rarick, John Cardiel and Steve Caballero. It definitely takes us down memory lane with this section. On top of that, they manage to include information about the Triple Crown Series, the Warped Tour, Combi Pool, snowboarding, BMX, music, movies and art events that they have been involved in throughout the years.

It’s beautiful to read about all of their achievements…

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan or not of Vans, this book will definitely go down in history as one of the most informative and comprehensive books about Vans. Be sure to get your copy at your nearest bookstore now. Its worth it… even just for the cover (you’ll know what i mean when you see it.

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