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The Van Doren Rubber Company was founded in 1966 in Anaheim, California, by Paul Van Doren, his brother James, and friends Gordon and Ryan Emmert and Serge D'Elia. Despite early hardships, Paul Van Doren was determined to make a success out of his shoe company, selling the original Vans, now known as the Authentic, directly to consumers across California. Vans became popular among skaters thanks to its grippy waffle cup sole. The brand really started having success when Paul's brother James took over. The brand successively introduced new Vans shoes like the Vans Era, Vans Old Skool, Vans Slip-On, and the Sk8 Hi in the late '70s, marking a turning point in sneaker history. In the 50 years since, Vans has only increased its relevance and success with collaborations with brands like Supreme, Fear of God, Brain Dead, and others.

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