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Founded in California in 1966




Explore our timeline

1966

Using functional design concepts from ski boots, the K-Swiss founders focus on supporting the lateral movement of tennis, building the K-Swiss Classic.

The K-Swiss Classic makes its debut at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

1970's

The style and function of the iconic K-Swiss Classic makes it a staple on tennis courts, and in country clubs, around the world.

1986

20 years after the company's founding, K-Swiss debuts its second ever style, The Gstaad.

1986

K-Swiss is purchased by Steven Nichols, who sees potential in the 'country club' footwear brand

1990

K-Swiss goes public, and launches a high top version of the beloved Classic.

1990

K-Swiss is named "Company of the Year" by Footwear News magazine.

1991

K-Swiss opens distribution in the UK and Europe for the first time.

1992

K-Swiss was granted the patent to the D-R Cinch lacing system, a multi-ring design which gave the wearer more support during lateral movement.

1993

The K-Swiss Si-18 International tennis shoe is honored as the "Shoe of the Year" by Footwear News magazine.

1993

K-Swiss enters the fast growing aerobics market and premieres a line of basketball shoes, worn by NBA athletes.

1994

K-Swiss premieres footwear styles for the walking and hiking market, expanding its reach to different types of athletes.

1996

K-Swiss celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Classic.

1997

Rapper Ice-T appears on The Arsenio Hall Show wearing the North Classic.

1998

K-Swiss launched a $17M ad campaign called 'Club K-Swiss' as sales soared, prompting Footwear News to say that K-Swiss 'epitomized the little athletic footwear company that could.'

1998

The Altezo becomes a huge hit, selling more than 1 million pairs.

2000

Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde won the French Open in Men's Doubles wearing K-Swiss.

The Classic got its first makeover with the Classic LX, offering a thicker sole and a more refined silhouette.

2002

K-Swiss ranked #10 on Forbes list of 200 Best Small Companies.

The 'I wear my K-Swiss' ad campaign takes over TV's in the US market, with a memorable tagline and young people wearing the Classic.

The K-Swiss ST329, with it's chunky profile, becomes a hit, driven by the baggy style of fashion of the early 2000's.

2005

K-Swiss global sales pass $500 million.

2007

K-Swiss announces Anna Kournikova, tennis star, as the new spokesperson for the brand.

2008

Designed for the dynamic sport of Parkour, or street running, K-Swiss debuts the Ariake.

2009

K-Swiss makes a push into the technical running category, gaining Best New Shoe and Best Debut honors in Running Network and Runners World magazines.

K-Swiss announces a long-term, official partnership with World Triathlon Corporation, owners of the Ironman brand.

2010

The Blade Light Run is named Best New Shoe by Running Network.

K-Swiss introduces Tubes, a dynamic cushioning concept using tubular structures to cushion the foot.

America's Toughest Trainer, Jillian Michaels, host of The Biggest Loser, stars in a campaign to promote the benefits of Tubes.

Fictional TV character Kenny Powers of HBO comedy Eastbound & Down creates a viral ad campaign for K-Swiss, one of the most talked about campaigns of the year.

2011

K-Swiss partners with American menswear designer Billy Reid to create a collaborative line of premium dress sneakers.

2012

The Bryan Brothers win the Olympic gold medal wearing K-Swiss, while holding all four Majors in mens' tennis doubles.

2013

K-Swiss is sold in 80 countries across 5 continents.

2014

Under new ownership by Eland World of South Korea, K-Swiss begins a turnaround plan

2015

K-Swiss selects DJ and music producer Diplo to lead 'The Board', a team of 100 young entrepreneurs making real decisions on K-Swiss' business.

2016

K-Swiss collaborates with AAPE by A Bathing Ape, for a special and limited Made In Japan version of it's Classic 66.

K-Swiss celebrates the 50th anniversary of the company, launching the 50 Love campaign.

2017

K-Swiss launches the Generation-K Campaign, positioning young entrepreneurs as the new heroes of youth culture, with the Gen-K Icon as the hero shoe.

Partnering with famed entrepreneur Gary Vee, K-Swiss debuts the world's first signature sneaker for an entrepreneur, the Gary Vee 001.

2018

To celebrate Gary Vee's 5th New York Times best-selling book, Crushing It, K-Swiss creates a special version of the Gary Vee 001 which sells out in minutes.

K-Swiss returns to global growth and profitability, setting the stage for the next chapter in the brand's storied history.


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