2024 has been a year of new beginnings for Vans: the company recently launched its OTW By Vans sub-label, debuted a Vans Premium Classics line, and has now tapped Atiba Jefferson to serve as a “Brand Curator.”

What exactly does Atiba’s role entail? Nothing less than re-inventing what skateboarding — an activity at the core of Vans since its earliest days — means to the company, per a press release, as the brand continues to activate its new “Always Pushing” ethos and drive progression. Though that’s no small task, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more apt for the challenge: through his decades-long connection to skateboarding and Vans as well as his deep cultural Rolodex thanks to his rich photography portfolio, Atiba has an intimate understanding of skateboarding’s connection to both street culture and pop culture, and a deep familiarity with the Vans team, as seen in the images below. Though his current responsibilities are mostly focused on curation and positioning, Atiba will likely be aiding with product in the future as well.

“Always Pushing is a renewal of Vans’ commitment to pushing skateboarding forward,” says Drieke Leenknegt, Vans’ global chief marketing officer (who previously had a long stint at Nike as the brand’s former global VP of influencer marketing & collaborations in the ’00s and ’10s, and, more recently served as the CMO of Timberland, another footwear brand under the VF Corp umbrella alongside Vans). “Like the generation that founded Vans’ non-conforming, ‘Off The Wall’ mindset, we also serve the future generation that looks to skateboarding and the culture that surrounds it to drive progression and positive change. Atiba is the perfect partner as the driver to that evolution.”

Stay tuned for more news regarding the partnership as it becomes available.

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