Vans, Inc. Hires Mark Smith, Former Nike Senior Designer, as VP of Design

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 6, 2000–Vans, Inc. (NASDAQ: VANS) today announced that Mark Smith has joined the Company as Vice President of Design.

In his new position, Mr. Smith will be responsible for overseeing the design direction and development of Vans footwear product.

Mr. Smith is a 10-year Nike veteran, and most recently served as Senior Designer for the Special Projects Group under Tinker Hatfield. Over the past three years, Mr. Smith has been intimately involved with Michael Jordan and the conceptual design and execution of his Air Jordan and Jordan branded footwear. Additionally, he has held positions in graphic design and concept imaging for several different sports categories and is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Gary H. Schoenfeld, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vans, said, “I am excited to have someone of Mark’s caliber join the Vans team. Mark brings a wealth of experience in product concept and design, as well as working with top athletes and how to translate their individual style and performance into great product. He also understands the Vans consumer and lifestyle, being originally from Southern California, and personally is an active participant in several Core Sports(TM) including surfing and snowboarding.”

Mr. Schoenfeld continued, “Over the past few years, I believe we have done an excellent job establishing our leadership position with the VANS brand. Today we are in a position to build upon our 34 year heritage and become even more of an innovator from a product standpoint as well. Mark is a highly creative talent who can help us achieve this goal.”

Mr. Smith commented, “I am very excited about joining Vans. It’s a great opportunity to be an integral part of something truly unique that I personally have a great passion for. Vans has made several positive developments in product design and merchandising over the past year, and I look forward to helping guide us to the next level and beyond.”

Mr. Schoenfeld concluded, “Our momentum at back to school carried through into the holiday season and we remain excited about our prospects for the second half of fiscal 2000.”(1) Vans, Inc. is a leading branded lifestyle company for the youth market. Vans reaches its 10 to 24 year-old target consumers through the sponsorship of Core Sports,(TM) such as skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and wakeboarding, and through major entertainment events and venues, such as the VANS Triple Crown(TM) Series, the VANS Warped Tour,(TM) the VANS World Amateur Skateboarding Championships, the world’s largest VANS skateparks, and the Vans High Cascade Snowboard Camp,(TM) located on Mt. Hood. The Company operates 126 retail stores in the U.S. and Europe, and designs, markets and distributes active-casual footwear, clothing and accessories, performance footwear for Core Sports, (TM) snowboard boots, step-in snowboard boot bindings, and outerwear worldwide. Vans’ Internet address is www.vans.com.

(1) This paragraph contains forward-looking statements about the Company’s future sales, operating income and net income. Actual sales and earnings results for the Company may be impacted by a number of important factors, including but not limited to: (i) the occurrence of downward trends in the U.S. economy, foreign economies and the footwear industry, or the occurrence of events that adversely affect the world economy in general; (ii) changes in the fashion preferences of the Company’s target customers and the Company’s ability to anticipate and respond to such changes; (iii) increasing competition in all lines of the Company’s business from both large, well-established companies with significant financial resources and brand recognition, and smaller niche competitors who market exclusively to the Company’s target customers; (iv) the cancellation of orders which could alter bookings numbers; and (v) the fluctuatioon of foreign currencies in relation to the U.S. dollar. These factors, and others, are discussed more extensively in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended May 31, 1999, which is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact:
Vans, Inc.
Gary H. Schoenfeld, 562/565-8545
or
Investor Relations:
Integrated Corporate Relations, Inc.
Chad A. Jacobs/Thomas Ryan, 203/222-9013

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