Paul Van Doren, the co-founder of the company Vans Shoes and clothing company is no more. The entrepreneur died at the age of 90 on Thursday. The news was announced by the company on social media on Friday.
The news was announced on the official Vans Twitter handle. The tweet by Vans said, “It’s with a heavy heart that Vans announced the passing of our co-founder, Paul Van Doren… We send our love and strength to the Van Doren family and countless Vans Family members who have brought Paul’s legacy to life.”
The company’s statement also read, “Paul was not just an entrepreneur; he was an innovator. The Van Doren Rubber Co. was the culmination of a lifetime of experimentation and hard work in the shoe industry. Like Paul, from the first day of business, Vans was uniquely innovative. When the first Vans store opened, there were no stand-alone retail stores just for sneakers. Paul’s bold experiments in product design, distribution, and marketing, along with his knack for numbers, and a genius for efficiency turned Paul’s family shoe business into an all-American success story.”
The cause of Paul’s death has not been released yet. However, the company stated that he died at his home surrounded by his family.
Paul died almost two weeks after the release of his autobiography titled “Authentic: A Memoir by the Founder of Vans”. The book covers the instances and details of Paul’s life and the growth and expansion of company into a great brand that it is today.
Paul Van Doren, along with his brother Jim Van Doren, and partners Gordon Lee and Serge Delia, established the Van Doren Rubber Company in 1966 in California. Doren left the school at the age of 16 and started working at a factory, which ultimately became the his first step to the establish his own product. The company eventually became a multi-billion-dollar action-sports empire.
The company today is owned by VF Corporation, who bought it from the banking firm McCown De Leeuw & Co. for $396 million. However, Paul’s two grandchildren are still part of Vans, which once was their family business. Kristy Van Doren serves as Vans’ Senior Director of Marketing for the North Americas and Jenny Battiest works as the merchandising manager at the Costa Mesa-based company for the Americas.