Business is a tricky thing. The margins between succeeding and going under are ultra thin and seemingly every day another giant bites the dust. So when Vans saw their 50th birthday coming up they knew they had to pull out all of the stops to celebrate in style. Half a century ago they were a tiny little shoe company in Southern California, now they are one of the most iconic brands in fashion. And while that much has changed over the years one thing hasn't—Vans still makes great shoes that people go nuts over.
Did we tell you the party was massive? It was so enormous that one city couldn't contain the awesomeness. The celebration took place at both the House of Vans in Brooklyn and at a House of Vans pop up in Austin, Texas, smack dab in the middle of SXSW. Throughout the celebration the shoe company focused on their history, including the various collaborations that they have done with bands over the years. Some of the more infamous of these colabs involved Iron Maiden, Motorhead, The Descendents and more. Given the connection between Vans and music you know that there were going to be some great tunes at the bash, and you would not be let down. In Brooklyn hip hop legend Nas and indie darlings Yeasayer rocked the stage, the fans in Austin were treated to a performance by the amazing Erykah Badu.
In the video below you can hear the entire Off the Wall history of Vans broken down into a minute and a half. Pretty impressive. And in the gallery below you can see some of the highlights from the two parties. So break out your favorite pair of Vans—these are mine—and celebrate in your own way. Here's to the next 50 years!