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The SCENE Magazine


Apr 30, 2013 11:44PM ● By Corinne Moore
From Fast Times at Ridgemont High to Friendswood High School Fine Arts, Vans shoes remain an iconic part of high school culture.

Friendswood Fine Arts teachers Mandy Harris and Mary Wise are banking on Vans Custom Culture and their talented art students. For the fourth year, Vans is hosting a shoe customization contest. It’s a culture clash on a national level between high schools competing to win $50,000 for their art programs. According to Harris, each participating school received four pairs of blank Vans sneakers to be designed with four different themes: art, music, local flavor, and a Vans-sponsored sport. Out of the 1500 competing high schools, Friendswood High School placed in the top 50.

Harris stated that the top 50 schools were then divided into five regions. She said that Friendswood is contending with nine other high schools in the Southwest region of the competition. Harris hopes her students’ sneaker sensations will snag the most online votes so that they may advance to the finals as Custom Culture Champions. She added that the top five regional finalists will fly to New York City sometime in June. There, the winning school will receive the $50,000 grand prize and the four runner-up schools receive $4,000.

Four Friendswood fine arts students designed the Vans shoes. The project was “super cool and relates to them because they wear Vans,” she said.

Harris said the students painted three pairs and colored the fourth pair with Sharpie markers. She explained that the students utilized templates provided by Vans to first draw their designs before transferring to the actual sneakers. She said the winning shoe is produced and sold by Vans. “It was important to get input from other students. We had to make sure the shoes had appeal,” said Harris.

Support the Friendswood High School Fine Arts Department by voting online at

Voting ends May 13, 2013, at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Standard Time.

(Pictured above from left to right are Friendswood High School students Sophomore Abigail Roenne; Freshman Katherine Sale; Sophomore Blake Davis, and Senior Juwayriyah Sana Qureshi.)