Dating back to 2009, Colossal’s ongoing partnership with Vans is an ideal example of what two like-minded brands can accomplish together.
Way back when, Vans was looking for an authentic way to spread their brand message; hand paint’s ‘old skool,’ artistic application was an ideal fit. And with our walls situated in young, upcoming neighborhoods, we helped hit the brand’s audience in a hyper-targeted way. In the years since, we’ve continued pushing boundaries, upping the ante, and achieving off-the-wall results.
The best compliment I can pay the Colossal team is the way we came to work with them. We saw some amazing wall paintings in New York and I said, ‘We have to work with those guys.’
Doug Palladini, Global President of Marketing at Vans
School of Skate
When one of our team members caught wind of East Side Community High School’s fledgeling skate program on 12th and Avenue A, Colossal reached out to the program’s founder. We connected the dots between a program in need of funding, and a brand dedicated to supporting young skateboarders. Our deep roots in the community earned Vans an unprecedented opportunity to turn a media buy into a meaningful neighborhood contribution. The relationship culminated in a full-fledged skate program for the students and a brand new Vans mural overlooking the school’s courtyard.
Vans gained an iconic location facing New York’s East Village, overlooking the very skatepark they helped to build. Proceeds from the wall went towards gear and equipment for the skate program, as well as the buildout of skate obstacles in the schoolyard. East Side High’s volunteer-run, after-school skate program transformed into the city’s only skateboarding gym class for credit, with the park staying open after class for free skate sessions.
Vans was one of our first partners to believe in the power of permanence, with impactful mural locations throughout New York and Los Angeles refreshed quarterly. The most noteworthy was a cornerstone wall on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, where Vans dominated for four years, transforming their ongoing ad campaign into a well-known neighborhood landmark.
Over a decade later, they’re still employing these tried-and-true methods of keeping cool and current. Their most recent perm ran from 2020 to 2023, smack dab on the outside facade of Labor immediately after the shop opened their Brooklyn storefront to the public. The two brands collaborated on creative and cross pollinated products to huge effect.
Vans DQM General — In 2011, Vans partnered with NYC’s streetwear legend DQM to launch their first official retail space in SoHo. Naturally, Colossal was there to spread the word. Murals drove foot traffic to the 1,600-square-foot flagship boutique while promoting The Vans DQM General at 93 Grand Street, a new co-branded line of shoes and apparel.
House of Vans — Located right in Colossal’s backyard, the House of Vans has quickly become a staple in the Williamsburg music scene. To welcome our new neighbors to the area, Colossal painted Vans’ landmark location to promote their opening night, which featured performances by Public Enemy and Mos Def.
Knu Stack — Another collaboration with Rapper and Vans ambassador Little Simz stirred even more buzz. In coordination with her concert tour, Vans posted murals in Los Angeles and New York featuring her in the Knu Stack shoes. Little Simz posted photos to her Instagram of her at the mural to the delight of her huge fanbase.