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Brief Published: 4 Aug 2014

House of Vans: London Launch

House of Vans, London

US footwear brand Vans is taking over London’s Old Vic tunnels – a 30,000 sq ft network of disused railway tunnels beneath Waterloo station – to launch House of Vans. The new branded, but public venue will be dedicated to skateboarding, art and music.

In an all-out attempt to assert its cultural relevance and demonstrate its connection to local communities, the site will feature the city’s only permanent indoor skate park, an 850 capacity concert space, a gallery, café, bars and a cinema – all free of charge.

The gallery will exhibit work by emerging and established artists and host art workshops for children – creating stronger bonds with consumers at a local level and positive buzz for the brand along the way. For more examples of locally focused brand initiatives, see Ultra-Local Initiatives Boost Allure in The Value of ‘Made In’, and Specialise to Survive.   

The original concept was first brought to life in Brooklyn, New York, where House of Vans opened its doors in 2010. “We’re looking forward to building on this legacy and working closely with the local communities,” said Jeremy de Maillard, vice-president of marketing at Vans. For more on House of Vans in Brooklyn, see Brands as Patrons of the Arts in Content is (Still) King.

House of Vans London is set to open on August 9 2014.

For more examples of public-focused brand initiatives with an urban sports spin, see Branding the City. For those based on consumer participation and ‘encounter culture’, see Hybrid Retailing.

For more insights into the rise and rise of skateboarding culture, see Reinventing the Wheel: Skateboarding in China and Future Skateboarding.