In Vans’ annual “Custom Culture” contest, participating schools receive pairs of classic white Vans sneakers for students to customize as stylishly and uniquely as possible. (The contest’s winner scores $50,000 for his/her school.) Vans enlists celebrity ambassadors each year to embellish shoes too, posting their efforts online in a gallery designed to inspire students taking part. This year that line-up includes rose prints from Peter Som, an affectionate message from Lauren Conrad, and then some hastily scrawled initials — in black Sharpie — from Kristen Stewart. Sometimes less is more, but then sometimes less is just lazy.
Update: Vans contacted us with a statement from their vice president of marketing, Doug Palladini. It reads, “Vans aims to support art programs (and help fight budget cuts) by inspiring students to embrace their creativity, while also educating communities at large about the importance of arts education in schools. We asked some of the most creative and influential celebrities to help us encourage students express their individuality and get involved in Vans Custom Culture. It has been so fun to see these celebrities’ personalities shine through their designs and help spread the word to their fans.”