Vans celebrates the ERA

Vans, the original skateboarding brand just had a big celebration of their most iconic product, a 10-day immersive experience in Venice Beach, California. Kicking of August 9, Vans celebrated the origins and history of the first skateboarding shoe ever, the Era, and the impact it has made across skateboarding, art, music and street culture. 

“BLACK RAINBOWS” are marks left by wallrides from skateboards, but they are also symbols of the creative reinterpretation of the world around you. To showcase the creative depth that is founded in skateboarding, Vans offered interactive programming that is inspired by the history and origins of the Era including the eclectic neighborhood between Venice Beach and Santa Monica known as Dogtown. The Program included a Dog Bowl Skate sessions, panel discussions, artist led workshops, live art installations and film screenings.  

Vans has recreated a section of the Dog Bowl, the backyard pool from Santa Monica where Tony Alva invented the original “Off The Wall” frontside air. Vans saluted Tony Alva, Elijah Berle, Eric Dressen and Rowan Zorilla to skate the shallow end of the bowl and partnered with Dogtown legend Jeff Ho, famed owner of the Zephyr Surf Shop and Jim Muir, original Z-Boy and skate Hall of Fame inductee, to bring forward an authentic depiction of the birth of a cultural icon, the Era, through a collection of photos and artifacts at the host venue.


Venice thrash legends, Suicidal Tendencies and Orange County hardcore band, Fury gave heads ups to the crowd and the luminary punk rock band X will hit the stage alongside punk newcomers, The Paranoyds. the second weekend was hosted by Top Dawg Entertainment's Reason and Zacari bringing Los Angeles hip-hop to the stage. Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Mikal Cronin and Shannon Lay closed out the final weekend with sounds inspired by surf and rock & roll.


Other activities at BLACK RAINBOWS were a series of thought provoking panel discussions including: 

“Tales of the Era”, a history lesson with the original Z-Boys team including Tony Alva, Jim Muir, Jeff Ho and Peggy Oki 
“Collaborations Through the Era”, candid insights into the design process by Vans partners and previous collaborators including Tetsu Nishiyama of WTAPSChris Gibbs of Union Los Angeles, and Carol Lim & Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony. 
Music panel highlighting the Los Angeles punk scene between 1978 and today as told by singer, songwriter and activist Henry Rollins, visual artist and folksinger, Phranc, Drew Arriola of Trap Girl, and Rudy Bleu & Hex Ray who have both helped to create spaces for the queer, punk Latinx youth in Los Angeles moderated by rock anthropologist and documentary filmmaker, Penelope Spheeris. 
Juxtapoz Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Evan Pricco presented the “Southern California Shaped” panel to explore how the Southern California skate and surf scene has shaped the next generation of art featuring Sage Vaughn, Robin Eisenberg, Albert Reyes and Daniel Gibson. 

Bryan Ray Turcotte is the founder of Kill Your Idols, a publishing company that has released art books and limited edition zines centered around music. He has also directed the “Art of Punk” documentary series. He will bring his knowledge to the “Art of Punk Flyer Workshop”
Artist, Robin Eisenberg hosted the “From SoCal to Space” character illustration workshop where she will bring participants into her vivid, neon world to create their own art. 
Grammy nominated artist, Randy Randall of No Age will host “Pedal Talk”  where he will walk participants through the process of layering pedals to create multi-layer effects and sound manipulations. 
Los Angeles-based skate veterans Daniel Shimizu, Clint Peterson, Justin Strubing and Andreas Trolf will bring their monthly skate trivia to BLACK RAINBOWS as part of the “Useless Wooden Knowledge Workshop”

And of course the mandatory filmscreenings including award winning documentary ‘Dogtown and Z-Boys’, the critically acclaimed ‘Lords of Dogtown’, a screening of ‘The Tony Alva Story’ and a special showing of ‘The Decline of Western Civilization’ introduced by director, Penelope Spheeris. . It’s not seeing what exists, it’s seeing what can be created. #VansBlackRainbows , “Off The Wall” Since ’66