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New Jersey’s John P. Stevens High School wins the 2016 Vans Custom Culture competition

The diner-themed shoe designs submitted by John P. Stevens High School of Edison, N.J., won top honors in the 2016 Vans Custom Culture competition.
The diner-themed shoe designs submitted by John P. Stevens High School of Edison, N.J., won top honors in the 2016 Vans Custom Culture competition.
(Vans Inc.)

A team of high school students from Edison, N.J., won a $50,000 donation to their school’s arts education program from the Vans action sports brand thanks to a series of food-themed footwear designs that included burgers, fries and a milkshake in a shoe.

The John P. Stevens High School team was awarded the grand prize for its New Jersey diner-inspired designs at a downtown Los Angeles art gallery Wednesday night after a panel of judges -- which just so happened to include L.A. chefs-of-the-moment John Shook and Vinny Dotolo – picked them as the winners of the annual Vans Custom Culture competition from a field of five finalists ultimately winnowed down more than 2,400 submissions from across the country.

The rest of the finalists -- Eastern High School (Louisville, Ky.), Moanalua High School (Honolulu, Hawaii), Orange High School (Orange, Calif.) and Sandy High School (Sandy, Ore.) – each received a $4,000 donation to their respective arts programs from the Cypress-based footwear and apparel maker. SoCal’s Orange High was named the runner-up, and Moanalua High received a $15,000 “local attitude” award (courtesy of retail partner Journeys) for a design that best captured the notion of “local flavor.”

The team from John P. Stevens High School hoists its oversized grand-prize check at the June 8 event in downtown L.A.
The team from John P. Stevens High School hoists its oversized grand-prize check at the June 8 event in downtown L.A.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision )
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In addition to taking home an oversized $50,000 check, the John J. Stevens team has the opportunity to see one of their delicious-looking designs actually produced and sold to the general public.

If you ask us, that gives the concept of “dine and dash” a whole new meaning.

For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me @ARTschorn.


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