On February 28th 2018, the FASH 115: Intro to Fashion class got a chance to see behind the scenes of the new Vans headquarters in Costa Mesa. Rian Pozzebon, Vans’ Global Director of Design showed us what makes Vans so special.
Our first stop was at the Vans copper installation that has a gold bell on it. Rian told us they use this bell to let the office know of new goals they have reached and to deliver important news. Then he took us to what they call their warehouse. Inside there was a cool ramp that their employees and athletes can ride in their free time.
The three-story building looks like a cool, modern gallery full of wall paintings and archive skateboards as décor. The first floor consists of showrooms and rooms for meetings, their gym, and also the courtyard, perfect for the staff to have lunch and enjoy the Southern California sunshine. Vans has great company culture.
According to Rian, the second floor is where everything happens. Each department has a designated area of the floors where they can work in their offices or the on the many tables spread around the floor. He also mentioned that since he came to the company, 15 years ago, they have restructured and focused mainly on their true target market, which are the skaters and skate shops. Their culture has evolved along with the brand, making the environment extremely easy going and creative to work in.
Vans is so true to its identity, that when they collaborate with other brands on capsule collections, they make sure they keep their sense of humor and non-conformism. Because the company is not worried about spikes in their sales, they can truly explore a collaboration the way they want to and see makes more sense for their final customer. After their huge success with the Disney collab, they chose Nintendo, and Nickelodeon’s Sponge Bob Square Pants next, which were all extremely successful, reaffirming why they are still so strong after 50 years.
On the third floor, we saw the preparation for the Last Vans Warped Tour press event the after 24 years on the road.
On the last part of the tour, back to the second floor, we got the chance to see their merchandising mix, a really cool 3D printed Vans shoe, and no-other than Steve Van Doren, son of Paul Van Doren, the founder of Vans. He was extremely gracious and gave everyone invaluable advice. For him, it’s all about “passing the passion” and creating something that you believe in.
The students left inspired by and excited about the possibilities of working and interning for this iconic Southern California brand. #OCCxVANS
– Ellen Nunes Ribeiro