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Monday, April 26, 2021

Teams from 2 San Antonio high schools move on to finals of Vans' nationwide custom shoe contest

Posted By on Mon, Apr 26, 2021 at 2:40 PM

click image High school student Roger Zamarripa Jr. has entered Vans' Custom Culture competition with a puro SA design. - FACEBOOK / ROGER ZAMARRIPA JR.
  • Facebook / Roger Zamarripa Jr.
  • High school student Roger Zamarripa Jr. has entered Vans' Custom Culture competition with a puro SA design.
We recently reported on Edison High School student Roger Zamarripa Jr.'s puro San Antonio design that advanced in Vans’ Custom Culture shoe design competition.

Turns out, Zamarripa will be joined by other San Antonio student-artists — a three-person team, also from Edison, plus a team from East Central High School — in the finals of the shoe company's annual contest.



On Monday, Vans revealed the 50 designs it selected as finalists, kicking off a public vote to determine the five top designs, including a grand prize winner. The top dog will snag $50,000 for their school's arts programs, while runners-up will get $15,000 each.

This year's Custom Culture installment features two themes — Hometown Pride and Head in the Clouds — and the San Antonio finalists embraced both.

Zamarripa's Hometown Pride shoes include colorful paintings of local  landmarks, including the Alamo and the Paseo del Rio. Meanwhile, his Edison classmates submitted a pair of lace-up low-tops with a three-dimensional twist. While the inclusion of sculpted pan dulce with one of those shoes could be seen as a nod to Hometown Pride, the other kick resembles a food truck with a trail of smoke leaving a vent, playing into the Head in the Clouds theme.

click to enlarge Edison High School's submissions for the Vans Custom Culture contest. - COURTESY IMAGE / VANS
  • Courtesy Image / Vans
  • Edison High School's submissions for the Vans Custom Culture contest.

The East Central 11-member team's submissions are just as bold.

Its Hometown Pride entry joins two shoes with a replica of downtown San Antonio's famous bridges, even throwing in a barge filled with tourists. The Head in the Clouds entry is more abstract, featuring a pair of disembodied legs that extend upward into a 3D cloud.

According to Mary Hierholzer, who heads East Central's fine arts department, the submissions are works from students in her fiber arts class. As part the course's custom design unit, the students worked on the contest submissions using 100% recycled materials.

click to enlarge East Central High School's submissions for the Vans Custom Culture contest. - COURTESY IMAGE / VANS
  • Courtesy Image / Vans
  • East Central High School's submissions for the Vans Custom Culture contest.

Voting is now open, and Vans will announce winners at the end of May. Fans can vote on their favorite once daily until voting closes on Friday, May 7 at 7 p.m.

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