|Founder||Tim Gavin, Brian Dunlap, Kevin Dunlap, and Mike Dunlap|
United States of America (US)
|Parent||Sequential Brands Group|
DVS Shoes is an American footwear and clothing company that specialises in products for skateboarding, moto, and snowboarding. In a 2018 interview on The Nine Club, Tim Gavin explained the name DVS "...didn't mean anything." and is not a shortened version of the word "devious". As of December 2013, the company is based in Westminster, in the Orange County area of California, US, and is a subsidiary of the Sequential Brands Group. The company defines itself as "... driven from the pursuit of building product that embodies the sports the company athletes breathe every day. With roots deeply embedded in skate, the company has the platform to develop truly technological products that bring the riders personalities to life."
DVS was founded in 1995 by Tim Gavin and brothers Brian, Kevin, and Mike Dunlap—the distribution company Podium Distribution was formed and the Lakai Limited Footwear brand was a latter addition to Podium's group of brands (the Matix clothing brand was Podium's third brand). Almost immediately, the company signed Korean-American skateboarder Daewon Song who represented the brand until 2016 when he signed with Adidas Skateboarding. Following a Chapter 11 filing in 2012, Podium Distribution ceased to exist as a company. DVS co-founder Gavin explained the origins of the company in an interview that was published on June 14, 2013:
I was never the dude that thought he had to be around just skateboarders. I was always very open-minded. So when my skate career was over, I started moving around in LA a lot, spending time in different neighborhoods and embracing new friends. I ended up meeting these dudes who surfed around Malibu. It was these brothers who began telling me how they wanted to start a skate shoe company. Cool, I can help you with that. I’m surrounded by the best guys in skateboarding. I’ll put the team and marketing together, you guys can finance it. That was DVS.
Chapter 11 filing
In May 2012, DVS Shoes filed bankruptcy, citing increased costs in China (where the brand's products are manufactured) and the general downturn in retail sales as a result of the financial crisis of 2007–2008 as the reasons for the filing. Shortly afterwards, DVS was acquired by the Sequential Brands Group and resumed normal operations, signing new sponsorship agreements with motorcross rider Brian Deegan and professional skateboarders Torey Pudwill and Song.
Gavin, who departed the brand following the bankruptcy, explained his perspective of the Chapter 11 period in January 2014:
DVS went through a lot in a short period of time. We grew the business every year and ran into growing pains financially and ended up getting a line of credit with Bank of America. In 2007, the economy went south and we had incredible sales erosion due to retailers going out of business, distributors becoming financially distressed, etc. It impacted us on a global level quickly. We didn't react quickly nor responsibly and ended up with a note that was due with no money to pay for it. Things happen fast.
After 18 years with DVS, Gavin formed two new companies in late 2013/early 2014: a "footwear company" with former Nike Skateboarding and DC Shoes designer Bryon Schroeder called "Filament", and the skateboard hardware company "Knox Hardware Mfg., Inc."
From October 2012, DVS continued to expand its skateboarding team, signing amateur skater Zack Wallin, and embarked on a tour of Detroit, US. A photograph captured during the Detroit tour appeared as the cover for The Skateboard Mag in early 2013—the photograph features Song executing a trick on a non-typical industrial structure.
In the first half of 2013, the company launched an upgraded website that features an online store. During this period the skateboard team toured Brazil, South America and Dallas, US while Song released his thirteenth signature shoe model with the brand.
Jon Nguyen was officially welcomed to the skate team on July 2, 2013 and a welcome video was published on the company's Vimeo channel in late June 2013. Nguyen's introduction also served as the inaugural promotion of a new technology for the brand called "Vaporcell", featured in a new "Vapor" skate shoe model.
A review by the "Ripped Laces" website, published in September 2013, ranked the Vaporcell technology highly for its comfort, board feel and durability, concluding: " It’s a stylish shoe with some great impact technology & stability." Using 20 hours of skateboarding as a guide for its review, the foremost concern that arose for Ripped Laces was the fading of the shoe sole's grip after a two-week period. The New Zealand skateboard magazine Manual published a review in October 2013 and also commended the Vaporcell model: "The Vapor fits well and offers great support, there’s no sloppy side walls so your feet definitely wont be sliding around inside of these."
In the second half of 2013, the DVS skate team completed tours of Canada, and New York City, US. In early 2014, the skate team completed a tour of Peru, South America where they were invited to Hensley's Bar, an alcohol venue that housed a skateboard ramp and skateboard memorabilia.
The skate shoe department continued to develop further in early 2014, with a preview by Pudwill of his third signature shoe model on social media. Pudwill explained that the "Pudwill 3" will be available at the time of the Plan B Skateboards debut video premiere in November 2014. He stated on April 23, 2014: "Putting in work in the #torey3s for the #planbvideo coming in Nov! You ready?"
Also in April 2014, DVS released the "Wee Man" signature colorway of the "Jarvis" model, designed by Jason "Wee Man" Acuña—Acuna appeared in the 1990s skate magazine Big Brother and starred in the magazine's video Shit; he then garnered further public attention in the Jackass productions. In its promotion for the shoe, which was accompanied by a video directed by former Big Brother photo editor Rick Kosick, the brand explained:
Wee Man has been with DVS for over 10 years, and we're honored to release his second signature colorway. Inspired by his 1962 Impala, the suede Jarvis is full of details that Wee Man personally selected for style and functionality.
A collaboration with the Cliché Skateboards company was launched in July 2014, with a skate shoe/skateboard deck capsule for professional team rider Flo Mirtain—the "Jarvis" model was redesigned for the capsule. A video part of Mirtain skateboarding in Europe was also released to commemorate the collaboration. Also in July 2014, the DVS skateboard team embarked on the "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" European tour, with Pudwill, Song, Tolentino, Murawski, Nguyen, Wallin, Mirtain, Shier, Louis Taubert and Adrien Coillard in attendance.
- 2005: Skate More
- 2006: European Vacation
- 2007: East Infection Tour
- 2007: Boyz N The Hood
- 2007: City of Dogs
- 2007: Catching Up With Keith
- 2008: Summer Bailout Package
- 2008: Dudes Dudes Dudes
- 2010: Videography Collection
- 2011: Total Eclipse Of The Heartland (with Matix)
- 2011: New Year's Dae (with Almost)
- 2013: DVS Does Detroit
- 2013: Ill In Brazil
- 2013: DVS Does Dallas
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- "Our brand new #dvsdoesdallas video just dropped for you over at our Facebook.com/dvsskateboarding Go get watching. #dvsshoes #skateboarding" (Image upload). dvsskateboarding on Webstagram. A-FIS PTE.LTD. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.