BEST FOOT FORWARD: Vans crowned the winner of its fourth annual Vans Custom Culture competition at the Whitney Museum of American Art on Tuesday, flying in over 80 high school students to New York from the five finalist schools for the event. Over 1,500 schools participated in the arts competition, which asked students to create original designs on blank Vans sneakers along four themes: art, music, action sports and local flavor.

Following a whittling down of entrants via an online popular vote, this year’s winning school was chosen by a panel of judges that included actress Emma Roberts, designer Timo Weiland, reality star-turned-designer Whitney Port, artist Christian Jacobs and skateboarder Steve Caballero.

This story first appeared in the June 14, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Coming out on top this year were the young talents at Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego, Ore., who won $50,000 from Vans for their arts programs. At least one of their sneaker designs will go into production and be sold at Vans and Journeys stores next year.

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