Hornets Customize Sneakers for Vans Design Contest

The Local Flavor design included a reproduction of Central Park.  Photo Credit: Ali Siddiqui

The Local Flavor design included a reproduction of Central Park. Photo Credit: Ali Siddiqui


Get those phones ready! Because this year, our school is a part of the 2019 Vans Custom Culture shoe design contest, and the design team needs all of your votes to move on to the next round of public voting.

Each year, the Vans sneaker company selects 500 U.S. high schools out of a pool of applicants to receive two pairs of blank, white Vans shoes to customize around specific themes,.

After schools’ designs are submitted by April 16, the top 50 are voted on by the public. Four runner-up schools in the competition will receive $10,000 and a special gift from Vans, and the winning school will win $75,000 for their art program and a barbeque with a musical performance.

Designer Kiandra Peart ’19 explained, “This year,  the themes are ‘Local Flavor’ and ‘Off the Wall.’ Local Flavor represents where you’re from, so New York, and ‘Off the Wall’ is just something crazy and creative.”

The design team of almost 20 students has been painting and adding details to the shoes. The process hasn’t always been easy.

“We’re trying to sculpt different pieces of the shoes and get them to stay together,” said Anie Yvon ’19, another designer. “We did have pieces that started to fall apart.”

Together, the team has created some cool designs that will hopefully make it to the final round of the competition.

“Our Local Flavor design consists of things that go with the city, like Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge,” said Peart. “Our Off the Wall shoe is like an outer space, back to Earth theme.”

Ezra Septimus ’20, another designer, said, “I feel like most people would be thinking straight forward, but we’re thinking more outside of the box, like most New Yorkers would.”

After photos of the completed shoes are submitted to the competition, representatives of the Vans company will score each design, and the top 50 will move on to the second round of judging. These high schools will be announced on the Vans website, and representatives from these schools will also be notified.

In the second round, lasting from April 23-May 3 on the Vans website, the public will vote on their favorite designs, and those that make it to the top five will proceed to the final round of the competition.

If either of our sneakers makes it to the second round, keep those dates in mind and be sure to vote for Midwood’s designs to support the creativity and hard work of the design team, as well as our school’s art program.

NewsCasey Levinson