Customizing 1-of-1 Vans at Brand’s California HQ

Waffle Works Innovation Center

Earlier this month, Vans invited us down to their new headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif. for a tour of the facilities. While there, we were given what they called a “golden ticket” that allowed us to customize our own pair of Vans at their new Waffle Works Innovation Center.

The area is a space where the Vans Innovation Team can dream up almost anything they want, from the next generation of Vans product technologies to how Vans uses technology within their immersive consumer event platforms.

“The ultimate goal for the Waffle Works Innovation Center is to give our employees a platform for creative experimentation and concept exploration, thereby supporting Vans’ mantra of enabling creativity by starting with its employees,” Vans says.

The Waffle Works Innovation Center also features innovative processes like HD Micro Fusion, a printing process that allows the brand to print any graphic onto a finished product by permanently transferring color dye from a film to a material using heat and vacuum. This can be used on a shoe upper, skate deck, neoprene sleeve and phone case.

We used a custom painting, which we paired with one of Vans’ iconic silhouettes. After choosing our pattern, we witnessed the process first hand, from the printing to the stuffing and careful placement of the shoes.

It was quite an experience, which you can see in the visual above.