James Van Doren passes away at 72. He might have been the co-pioneer of shoes that weren’t the major brands of Nike, Adidas, etc. He crafted a shoe that wasn’t the Converse All Star but was more like a “sporty shoe” that was immediately associated with skateboarding – not because of Spicoli in Fast Times in Ridgemont high. He ran the company until 1984, but what he did later was more cool. In the LA Times obituary, “Only 45 years old when he was ousted, Van Doren became a general contractor who often worked for free for people who couldn’t afford to pay, said James Van Doren Jr., one of his three sons.” (LA Times – James Van Doren)
I wrote about some black Vans a while ago, here.