Vans founder and footwear industry pioneer Paul Van Doren has died. He was 90. Vans offered a statement about the late sneaker pioneer via Instagram.
“It is with a heavy heart that Vans announces the passing of our co-founder, Paul Van Doren. Paul was not just an entrepreneur; he was an innovator. The Van Doren Rubber Company was the culmination of a lifetime of experimentation and hard work in the shoe industry,” the company wrote. “Paul’s bold experiments in product design, distribution and marketing, along with his knack for numbers and efficiency turned a family shoe business into a globally recognized brand. We send our love and strength to the Van Doren family and the countless Vans Family members who have brought Paul’s legacy to life. Thank you for everything, Paul. You will be sorely missed.”
Van Doren launched Vans on a $250,000 investment in 1966, and nearly four decades later the brand was acquired by VF Corp. in April 2004 for $396 million.