Resource Center / Guide

A History of Cole Haan

The Name

If you are fashion conscious, you already know what Cole Haan is. It has been in the fashion business, from footwear to coats to eyewear, for more than 80 years and the name equates with quality, durability and credibility. Though Cole Haan started with a men’s footwear label, the company has grown to also cover women’s footwear from casual to dress shoe requirements extending to accessories like outerwear, sunglasses, hosiery, handbags and many more. All of these products, coming from a prestigious company, are expected to deliver the superior quality that the Cole Haan label is known for.

The Past

Cole Haan is named from its two founders – Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan. It was in 1928 that the company started its operations in Chicago with a product line solely focused on men’s footwear. With its presence in university shops, the company introduced an innovative men’s fashion with its penny loafers, saddles, bucks and handsewn footwear. It was in 1975 that a former leather cutter in Maine, George Denney, acquired the company.

As Cole Haan established its credibility for providing quality men’s footwear , it was in 1979 that it entered the women’s footwear arena introducing colorful shoes in red, green and other bright colors. Because of this innovation and fashion contribution, the market has accepted the creative addition to the usual and traditional line of women’s shoes with the modern yet quality and fashionable shoe styles.

Similarly, functionality was also considered in the succeeding years as Cole Haan introduced the first driving shoes that were also well-accepted and appreciated by motorists who also prefer comfort while driving.

The innovations and contributions to the footwear business have never ended with the Cole Haan brand. The company never stopped to do its own research and development efforts to introduce new things to the industry with consideration on fashion, comfort and functionality. Also, the inclusion of other lines of products has been successful with the addition of Cole Haan products like personal leather goods and belts.

A significant event in Cole Haan’s timelines happened in 1988 when Nike acquired Cole Haan . Thence, international flagship stores and more outlets opened making the reach to influence the use of quality and fashionable footwear become broader and wider.

Then the technology of Nike Air was incorporated in the design of women’s shoes which made a mark on Cole Haan’s emphasis on providing comfort and protection not only for men but also for women. This was the first at that time and the demand for Cole Haan shoes continued to rise.

In the year 2000, Cole Haan announced its presence in the World Wide Web with the launching of its website. This made the reach even farther and the outlets are now all scattered around the world.

Cole Haan – The New Generation

Cole Haan has not stopped with its efforts to innovate, expand and transform. The whole range of fashion Cole Haan products expresses the holistic influence that the company aims to achieve in meeting the fashion requirements of the times and at the same time, providing the quality requirements of this busy, fast-paced world. These are considerations that Cole Haan continues to live as it answers the demands of the footwear market, specifically, and the fashion industry, in general.

In this generation, nobody can question the established fashion brand that Cole Haan has – something that has been accomplished in its more than 80 years of existence in providing the answers to quality and fashionable footwear needs.