About the Brands

Adidas

For over 80 years Adidas has been part of the world of sports and fashion, delivering state-of-the-art athletic footwear. The main goal is to design shoes that work with the foot, not against it, to help you reach your highest level of performance and comfort.

Adidas has, for generations, created innovative products that elevate the performance of athletes. Adidas footwear, apparel and accessories, and those who use them have excelled at every sport, everywhere, at the highest levels. All-stars, amateurs, professionals and beginners- Where they are, Adidas is, because their passion is Adidas’ passion.

Converse

Converse is an American shoe company that has been making shoes since the early 20th century.

In his late 30s, Marquis Mill Converse, who was previously a respected manager at a footwear manufacturing firm, opened the Converse Rubber Shoe Company (completely unrelated to the Boston Rubber Shoe Company, founded by fourth cousin Elisha Converse) in Malden, Massachusetts in 1908. The company was a rubber shoe manufacturer, providing winterized rubber soled footwear for men, women, and children. By 1910, Converse was producing 4,000 shoes daily, but it wasn’t until 1915 that the company began manufacturing athletic shoes for tennis. The company’s main turning point came in 1917 when the Converse All-Star basketball shoe was introduced. Then in 1921, a basketball player named Charles H. “Chuck” Taylor walked into Converse complaining of sore feet. Converse gave him a job. He worked as a salesman and ambassador, promoting the shoes around the United States, and in 1923 his signature was added to the All Star patch. He tirelessly continued this work until shortly before his death in 1969. Converse also customized shoes for the New York Renaissance (the “Rens”), basketball’s first all black pro basketball team.

When the United States entered World War II in 1941, Converse shifted production to manufacturing footwear, apparel, boots, parkas, rubber protective suits, and ponchos for pilots and troops. Widely popular during the 1950s and 1960s, Converse promoted a distinctly American image with its Converse Yearbook. Artist Charles Kerins created cover art that celebrated Converse’s role in the lives of High School and College athletes, as the essential sports shoe. In the 1970’s, Converse purchased the trademark rights to Jack Purcell sneakers from B.F. Goodrich.

Converse lost much of its apparent near-monopoly from the 1970s onward, with the surge of new competitors, including Puma and Adidas, then Nike, then a decade later Reebok, who introduced radical new designs to the market. Converse found themselves no longer the official shoe of the National Basketball Association, a title they had relished for many years.

The loss of market share, combined with poor business decisions, forced Converse to file for bankruptcy on January 22, 2001. When the company subsequently changed hands that year, the last factory in the United States was closed. Thereafter, manufacturing for the American market was no longer performed in the United States, but instead in a number of Asian and European countries, including China, Indonesia, Italy, Lithuania and Vietnam.

DC

DC Shoes is an American company specializing in footwear for extreme sports, including skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX, motocross, rally car racing, and surfing, as well as snowboards, shirts, jeans, hats, and jackets.

The company was founded in 1994 by Ken Block and Damon Way, and is based in Vista, California. DC originally stood for ‘Droors Clothing Footwear’, but since the sale of Droors Clothing (which is now defunct), DC no longer has ties to Droors and is simply DC Shoes. Some speculation says it means Dyrdek Collection because of the fact that the main person sponsoring the shoe company is Rob Dyrdek, skateboarding professional.

DC Comics

DC Comics is the largest and most diverse English language publisher of comic books in the world. Founded in 1934 as National Allied Publications, the company that would one day become DC Comics virtually created the comic book, publishing the first comic of all original material. Then, in the spring of 1938, the first super hero story appeared in ACTION COMICS #1, introducing SUPERMAN. Other soon-to-be icons would follow, including BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN, GREEN LANTERN, THE FLASH and many others. Today, DC Comics publishes more than 80 titles a month and close to 1000 issues a year. DC has several imprints spanning the gamut of graphic storytelling: The DC Universe is the home of DC’s peerless roster of super heroes; Vertigo caters to a more mature, literary readership; WildStorm offers a bold alternative take on heroic and adventure comics; and Zuda Comics is DC’s innovative digital imprint. DC is also the home of MAD Magazine, the best-known humor magazine in America. DC Comics is a division of Time Warner, the largest entertainment company in the world.

Dockers

Dockers is a brand of khaki garments from Levi Strauss & Co. Levi Strauss & Co., then specialized in denim, introduced the Dockers brand in 1986. Dockers became a leading brand of business casual clothing for men. In 1987, Dockers introduced a women’s line. Dockers makes khaki pants and quality leather wallets.

Emerica

Like skateboarding itself, Emerica defies convention. In doing so, the brand has established a legacy of bold innovation that has changed the face of modern skateboarding. Since 1996, Emerica has provided no-nonsense skaters everywhere with the toughest and most functional skateboarding footwear and apparel available. Designed by skateboarders for skateboarding, Emerica products are created to withstand serious skateboarding abuse. Emerica is 100% pure skateboarding.

éS

Since 1995, éS has been at the forefront of high-performance skateboarding, propelling the design of skate footwear and apparel into a highly athletic and technically advanced realm. Today, the éS legacy of leadership continues with innovations embedded in the stylish and technical skate shoes. The éS team is committed to delivering the best performing skate shoes to minimize the risk of injury and maximize skate time via advanced support, durability, cushioning and grip.

Etnies

Established in 1986, etnies is the first skateboarder-owned and operated global action sports footwear and apparel company. etnies not only pushed the envelope by creating the first pro model skate shoe, but it pioneered technological advances and changed the face of skateboard footwear forever.

Today etnies’ vision, led by owner and skateboarder Pierre Andre Senizergues, is to remain the leading action sports company committed to creating innovative products that provide the most style, comfort and protection possible. etnies stays true to its roots by sponsoring a world class team of skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, moto x and BMX riders and continues its dedication by giving back to each of these communities.

Fila

Fila was conceived in 1911 in Biella, in the shadows of the Italian Alps. It was born of a textile DNA that was luxuriously and vibrantly textured.It was schooled in the art of fine wovens, as exquisitely dimensional as its homeland: the brand assumed boldness from its mountainous landscape, its fluidity from the Mediterranean coast. The brothers Fila borrowed an aesthetic cue from Europe, but relied as much on sheer design instinct: the brand evolved as a sophisticated product of its upbringing, a tapestry both ruggedly and leisurely refined.

With a superb inclination for the avant garde and a taste for the finer things in life, Fila made a dramatic debut as an elite performance brand in 1973. It coyly introduced cotton rib to tennis while courting the nobility of Bjorn Borg. Sported by Ingemar Stenmark in his pursuit of 86 World Cup titles, it swept the likes of Innsbruck and Lake Placid. It graced the greens of the British Open and trained for a Master’s title with the legendary Tom Watson. It aspired to the pinnacle of world recognition at Everest, sans oxygen, alongside Reinhold Messner in 1978. Such exclusivity propelled Fila to the forefront of contemporary and classic outerwear. The brand celebrated its authenticity by launching the first velour track suit on the globe. Once fluent in the universal language of movement, it claimed its rightful heritage as a world player—all the while capturing the loyalties of the individual athlete and the sportswear cognoscenti in the 1980s.

Inherent in its arrival as a global brand was its love affair with tennis. Fila dominated the scene by a virtual surrounding of it, from clay court ingenuity in design detailing to a 22-year sponsorship of the U.S. Open. The brand tailored its suite of clothing and footwear to the elite athlete, then made the same luxury offering accessible to spectators. More than an icon, Fila sought both an on- and off-court presence that spoke to personal involvement. Fila had begun to carve its niche as a brand that not only catered to the well-heeled, but to the individual performer.

By the 1990s, Fila was that kind of gracious player that owed its distinction to being invited. Its good manners had a significant impact on the running world, where design took a novel approach: Fila introduced footwear intended to complement the run, rather than overpower it. While others sought to make the instrument of the shoe louder and technologically over-keyed, Fila sought a pure, lightweight accompaniment that allowed the performer to sing. As discerning of potential as it was passionate, Fila even found its way to Kenya—a land where children ran barefoot for miles on dirt roads with tea fields their only grandstands. The Kenyan nationals took the sport by global storm while Fila helped cultivate the talent at the grassroots level. It was a philosophy that would endure into the 21st Century with the brand fully dedicated to providing opportunity to people in its sponsorships.

Fila eventually made prominent its home in the pulse of Milan, in the “golden quadrangle” where Italy’s most distinguished draw breath. It continued to exhibit remarkable cultural and historical finesse, from the backdrop of ancient Rome at the Italian Open to the inaugural stage of the Kremlin Cup. It became larger-than-life on the powdered tails of Alberto Tomba, arced triumphant on the shoulders of Monica Seles. It settled in a timeless rhythm of feathered waters with Antonio Rossi, and waxed undefeatable on the hardcourt in a dogged two-year stand with Kim Clijsters. It was the millennium and the diversity of modern athletes that significantly crowned the brand with its next generation of Italian-inspired collections. Layered in nearly one hundred years of innovation, the brand’s contemporary fabric was woven of the personal fulfillment of its consumers.

Still a virtuoso of design in the art of motion, Fila has now added breadth and depth to its luxurious core. Tennis, running and, once again the mountain sports, have seen the advent of unequalled tailoring and craftsmanship. Precise details and high-end materials have led to a convergence that have made form and function now seamless. Fila’s timeless legacy has been exalted in the introduction of its Vintage line—a tribute to the brand’s historical forms, as glamorously understated as Bjorn himself. In 2005, Fila launched one of its most enlightened product platforms in the fitness category. The Eastern balance between mind and body is holistically embraced in the brand’s wellness category, Benessere. This reflection of Fila’s global citizenry, as well as its international sphere of influence, has made the brand a preferential luxury among lifelong athletes.

Spring, 2006 saw the re-invention of fashion-inspired links apparel and footwear in golf. The brand’s encore performance in one of the world’s most elite sports will be accompanied by the grand entrance of the Fila Biella collection. Inspired by the fluidity of today’s consumer—who views sport as an identity more than a mere activity—both the flowing hand of Fila Biella and the striking collections in golf will be designed to appeal to the sophisticated well-roundedness of today’s consumer.

In April 2007, Fila became a part of GLBH, Global Leading Brands House, a global fashion group which creates and develops the world class high-end fashion brands. Fila & GLBH reaffirmed the brand’s commitment to the sport so entrenched in its heritage with the signing of WTA Tour rising star, Agnes Szavay. Fila added the Stella Artois Championships, to its existing tennis event sponsorships of the Sony Ericsson Open, Pacific Life Open, Campbell’s Hall of Fame Championships and Italian Open. Fila’s new licensing agreement with The Championships at Wimbledon, brings Fila back to the grand stage where Bjorn Borg first put Fila on the map in the world of sport. Fila forged partnerships with J Records music label Polo Grounds Music to make sure Fila fashion appears on the hottest new artists in the music industry. Fila’s new partnership with Launch Pad PR is aimed to make Fila the product of choice of fashion forward starlets in Hollywood. New Collaborations with retailers such as Premium Goods, Supreme and Kitson keep the brand fresh by creating co-branded limited edition product.

The exceptionalities are all indicative of a brand that has come full circle after nearly a century—at home in luxury, poised in performance—playing at the top if its game.

Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson often abbreviated H-D or Harley, is an American motorcycle manufacturer. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the first decade of the 20th century, it was one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression. Harley-Davidson also survived a period of poor quality control and competition from Japanese manufacturers.

The company sells heavyweight (over 750 cc) motorcycles designed for cruising on the highway. Harley-Davidson motorcycles (popularly known as “Harleys”) have a distinctive design and exhaust note. They are especially noted for the tradition of heavy customization that gave rise to the chopper-style of motorcycle. Except for the modern VRSC model family, current Harley-Davidson motorcycles reflect the styles of classic Harley designs. Harley-Davidson’s attempts to establish itself in the light motorcycle market have met with limited success and have largely been abandoned since the 1978 sale of its Italian Aermacchi subsidiary.

K·Swiss

Since 1966, K·Swiss has represented innovation, quality, performance and style. Its signature K-SWISS “CLASSIC,” the first leather tennis shoe, made its debut at Wimbledon in 1966, and more than 40 years later, is still a style staple both on and off the court. Today, K·Swiss’ premium sports heritage has expanded from tennis footwear, to also lifestyle, running, training, nautical, and free-running footwear that stands up to the performance demands of world-class athletes and trendsetters alike.

Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&CO) is a privately held clothing company known worldwide for its Levi’s brand of denim jeans. It was founded in 1853 when Levi Strauss came from Buttenheim, Franconia, (Kingdom of Bavaria) to San Francisco, California to open a west coast branch of his brothers’ New York dry goods business. Although the company began producing denim overalls in the 1870s, modern jeans were not produced until the 1920s. The company briefly experimented (in the 1970s) with employee ownership and a public stock listing, but remains owned and controlled by descendants and relatives of Levi Strauss’ four nephews.

Lugz

The Lugz brand came into the world in October of 1993. A family owned company who has over 63 years of experience in making shoes, the initial product launch for Lugz consisted of two styles of boots, a quilted vest and a pair of jeans and the brand has continued to soar from there.

Soon Lugz was endorsed by key players from the world of hip hop. Def Squad’s own Erick Sermon (The Green Eyed Bandit) became the first official endorser of Lugz. Erick appeared in the second print ad for Lugz and created three blazing radio commercials which were the first for the brand. The list of endorsers continues to grow with Redman, Keith Murray, Snoop, Outkast, KRS-1, Kid Capri and Master P, to name just a few, following in Erick’s footsteps. Shock jock Howard Stern has also promoted the brand on his radio show.

Lugz product is aggressively styled using the highest quality materials for maximum durability and superior comfort. Our footwear features premium leathers and durable construction. Everything is designed with the fashion forward customer in mind.

Today Lugz has expanded beyond boots and has added casual shoes, sandals and athletics to the mix, and the brand can be found at major retailers across the country.

New Balance

New Balance began as a Boston-based arch support company in the early 1900’s, developed into a specialized shoe manufacturer in the 1970’s, and has grown to become a leading global athletic products company. Today New Balance is a family of brands including New Balance, Dunham, PF Flyers, Aravon, Warrior and Brine.

Since the days of selling arch supports to police officers and waiters, New Balance has been a brand concerned with meeting the needs of the everyday athlete. Part of producing superior footwear and athletic apparel is manufacturing it to fit all widths and sizes, because a better fit produces better performance.

To ensure the best fitting, best performing shoes and apparel, we focus on improving our technology and production methods. We have maintained five manufacturing facilities in New England where we continue to rely on the skills and teamwork of our American workforce to produce a percentage of our athletic footwear. We have also remained strongly committed to a core set of company values that include integrity, teamwork and total customer satisfaction.

Nike

Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman made this observation many years ago, he was defining how he viewed the endless possibilities for human potential in sports. He set the tone and direction for a young company created in 1972, called Nike, and today those same words inspire a new generation of Nike employees.

Our goal is to carry on his legacy of innovative thinking, whether to develop products that help athletes of every level of ability reach their potential, or to create business opportunities that set Nike apart from the competition and provide value for our shareholders.

It started with a handshake between two visionary Oregonians – Bowerman and his University of Oregon runner Phil Knight. They and the people they hired evolved and grew the company that became Nike from a US-based footwear distributor to a global marketer of athletic footwear, apparel and equipment that is unrivaled in the world.

Along the way, Nike has established a strong Brand Portfolio with several wholly-owned subsidiaries including Cole Haan, Converse Inc., Hurley International LLC, NIKE Golf, and Umbro Ltd

Ralph Lauren

What began forty years ago with a collection of ties has grown into an entire world, redefining American style. Ralph Lauren has always stood for providing quality products, creating worlds and inviting people to take part in our dream. We were the innovators of lifestyle advertisements that tell a story and the first to create stores that encourage customers to participate in that lifestyle.

RalphLauren.com takes this participation to a new level, as a rich and exciting interactive destination. When you’re transported into the world of Ralph Lauren online, you can shop for great products for yourself and your home, learn about adventure, style and culture in RL Magazine and RL TV, find one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and exquisite gifts and much, much more. Back when all this started, I felt sure that there were no boundaries for Polo. I’m even more sure of that today.

PUMA

PUMA is one of the world’s leading sportlife style companies that designs and develops footwear, apparel and accessories. It is committed to working in ways that contribute to the world by supporting Peace, Creativity, and SAFE Sustainability, and by staying true to the values of being Fair, Honest, Positive and Creative in decisions made and actions taken. PUMA starts in Sport and ends in Fashion. Its Sport Performance and Lifestyle labels include categories such as Football, Running, Motorsports, Golf and Sailing. The Black Label features collaborations with renowned designers such as Alexander McQueen, Yasuhiro Mihara and Sergio Rossi. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Tretorn and Hussein Chalayan. The company, which was founded in 1948, distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs more than 9,000 people worldwide and has headquarters in Herzogenaurach/Germany, Boston, London and Hong Kong.

Reebok

Reebok is an American-inspired, global brand that creates and markets sports and lifestyle products built upon a strong heritage and authenticity in sports, fitness and women’s categories. The brand is committed to designing products and marketing programs that reflect creativity and the desire to constantly challenge the status quo.

Reebok is dedicated to providing each and every athlete – from professional athletes to recreational runners to kids on the playground – with the opportunity, the products, and the inspiration to achieve what they are capable of. We all have the potential to do great things. As a brand, Reebok has the unique opportunity to help consumers, athletes and artists, partners and employees fulfill their true potential and reach heights they may have thought un-reachable.

Southpole

For over a decade, Southpole has been a leading fashion brand in the streetwear apparel industry. As the flagship brand of Wicked Fashions, Inc., Southpole reaches markets in the United States, Asia, and Europe with its affordable, yet stylish denim, sportswear, outerwear, footwear and accessories for young men, juniors, kids, and plus size. Launched in 1991, it was the first brand to fill a niche for reasonably priced, urban clothing that appeals to a diversified, multicultural, mid-tier retail consumer.

TOMS

In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers.

Under Armour

It started with a simple plan to make a superior T-shirt. A shirt that provided compression and wicked perspiration off your skin rather than absorb it. A shirt that worked with your body to regulate temperature and enhance performance.

Founded in 1996 by former University of Maryland football player Kevin Plank, Under Armour is the originator of performance apparel – gear engineered to keep athletes cool, dry and light throughout the course of a game, practice or workout. The technology behind Under Armour’s diverse product assortment for men, women and youth is complex, but the program for reaping the benefits is simple: wear HeatGear® when it’s hot, ColdGear® when it’s cold, and AllSeasonGear® between the extremes.

Under Armour’s mission is to provide the world with technically advanced products engineered with our superior fabric construction, exclusive moisture management, and proven innovation. Every Under Armour product is doing something for you; it’s making you better.

Vans

Vans is an American based manufacturer of sneakers, BMX shoes, snowboarding boots, skateboarding and other shoe types catering primarily to the skateboarder / surfer / snowboarder youth market. They also sell apparel and accessories catering to this same youth market.

On March 16, 1966, at 704 E. Broadway, in Anaheim, California, Paul Van Doren and three partners opened up their first store. The Van Doren Rubber Company was unique in that it manufactured shoes and sold them directly to the public. On that first morning, 12 customers purchased Vans deck shoes, which are now known as Authentic. The shoes which were made that day were ready for pick-up in the afternoon.

The company continued to grow into the 1970s. During this period they also produced wool lined canvas and rubber mukluks under contract to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force. Skateboarders who liked Vans rugged make-up and sticky sole were seen sporting Vans all over Southern California in the early 1970s. In 1975, the Vans #95, known today as the Era was designed by Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta. With a padded collar and different color combinations the Era became the shoe of choice for a generation of skateboarders. In 1979, Vans introduced the #44 shoe, and with the help of skateboarders and BMX riders the Vans Slip-On became all the rage in Southern California. By the end of the 1970s, Vans had 70 stores in California and sold through dealers both nationally and internationally.

As the 1980s rolled around, Paul Van Doren began to take a lesser role in the companies’ activities. Over this period, Vans started to create shoes for a number of sports from skateboarding, wakeboarding, motor cross, to surfing in an effort to compete with large athletic shoe companies. Vans Slip-Ons gained international attention and appeal when they were worn by Sean Penn in the 1982, iconic youth film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Although Vans core shoes were selling well, the wide range of products that the company now offered had drained the companies’ resources, and with Vans not able to overcome its debt they were forced to file for bankruptcy in 1983.

After three years, Vans had paid back all creditors and emerged from bankruptcy. In 1988 Vans original owners sold out to an investment banking firm. The company has been sold several times since; most recently for $396 million in 2004 to Greensboro, N.C.-based VF Corp. Steve Van Doren, the son of co-founder Paul Van Doren, is still with the company, as is his sister Cheryl and his daughter Kristy. Vans closed their Orange, California factory and began manufacturing footwear overseas in 1994. In 1994, Vans sponsored the Inaugural Triple Crown series which developed into the Vans Triple Crown series. In 1998, Vans opened a 46,000-square-foot (4,300 m2), indoor-outdoor Vans Skate park at the Block in Orange County and in 2002 an enclosed skatepark was opened in the Festival Bay Mall on International Drive in Orlando, Florida. In 2000 and 2001, Forbes recognized Vans as one of “America’s Best Small Companies.” In 2004, Vans launched the Vans Customs on their website. This allowed customers to log onto the Vans website and design their own pair of Vans Slip-ons, mid-cuts, or high-tops. Nowadays, it allows for the design of custom Era, Slip-On,Old Skool, and 106 Vulcanized shoes.

Vans has been the primary sponsor of the Warped Tour music festival since 1995.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: