Culture for your feet


Art Club is back at again with the white Vans! Groups of students designed pairs of white Vans for the Vans Custom Culture Competition. The nationwide competition yields entries from LA, New York City, and even Dubuque.

High schools which  enter receive four pairs of plain, white Vans. The shoes must be designed to fit into one of four categories: art, music, local flavor, and action sports.

The art shoes (top left) were designed by Lupita Mendez and Grace Lange, ‘18. Mendez and Lange found inspiration from a modern source: “We kinda based them off Ed Hardy’s tattoo designs,” said Mendez. His work often features roses, which is the main focus of the group’s shoes.

The local flavor category gave students the opportunity to show the character of their home town. The designers, Sophia Rupert, Joey Rahlf, Sydney Rury and Emma Sadler, ‘19, made sure to express the spirit of Iowa in their Vans (top right). Not only did they include real pieces of corn, but they also designed a mini 4th Street Elevator on the laces.

The music shoes (bottom left) were made by Holly Hohmann, Annie Hermann, Holli Hammerand and Olivia King, ‘18. The shoes feature several classic bands’ logos, connected by a headphone to a woman listening. “We started with classical rock bands and then we started adding on some other genres as we went on,” said King.

The action sports category expresses the spirit of the Vans company, encouraging participants to depict sports such as surfing, BMX and skateboarding. The group consisting of Natalie Rapp, Hannah Gasper, and Megan Stecklein, ‘16, chose surfing. Their shoes (bottom right) depict a beach scene as well as the ocean with a surfboard.

After several weeks of hard work, the members of Art Club were able to enter them in the competition. “Overall, I think the shoes work very well together, and I thought the different categories were well represented,” said Ms. Sarah Conlon, the leader of art club.

The Top 50 shoes will be chosen by judges on April 27, and voting online will be open to the public.