Very few shoewear brands have the global level of reach that Skechers has garnered. A household name, Skechers sneakers have been cemented as iconic fashion footwear to either your delight or dismay.
However, if you weren’t around when Skechers debuted, you may be wondering- when did Skechers come out? If you’d like to find out, keep reading this article to discover what I learned!
When Did Skechers Come Out?
Skechers originated in Manhattan Beach, California in 1992 by Robert Greenberg. Overlapping by a year as founder of both L.A. Gear and Skechers, Greenberg left the former to focus on the latter. The company’s breakout sneaker Chrome Dome gained an immediate following, launching Skechers to the height of the men’s and women’s athletic footwear industry.
Do you want to know more about when Skechers came out and its California roots? Keep on reading as we unpack the origin story of these world famous shoes!
Who Started Skechers?
Robert Greenberg saw the vision for Skechers and founded the company in 1992.
Already the head of L.A. Gear, the California based leader in women’s athletic clothing and footwear, Greenberg recognized an untapped market in casual shoes for both men and women.
Prior to this realization, there was a clear distinction in targeted audiences for athletic brands. Nike ran the men’s side of the industry, and L.A. Gear held its own on the women’s side.
L.A. Gear thrived in the women’s athletic sector, seeing about 900 million in sales the seven years the company was in business before the start of Skechers.
When the market shifted in 1992, accordingly, Greenberg refocused his energy towards Skechers.
Where Were Skechers Originated?
Skechers was founded in Manhattan Beach, California, originally meant to serve as a U.S. distribution site for Dr. Martens.
Adversely, founder Robert Greenberg was enamored with the designing and marketing of a shoe for young men and women in the urban market.
His attention towards making shoes for urban young adults was not much of a departure from his work at L.A. Gear.
Seeing the potential of a hip, genderless shoe, Greenberg captured just that in 1993 with Skecher’s first runaway success with the Chrome Dome sneakers.
How Did Skechers Get Its Name?
Skechers got its name by suggestion from Robert Greenberg’s kids. As explained to him, “skecher” is a name for a cool kid who has a lot of energy.
It’s speculated that the real use of the word “skecher” is to describe someone who is high on methamphetamines.
Both definitions can be true at the same time, especially for a slang term (Skechers has always been spelled without a T).
What Was the First Pair of Skechers?
Skechers released its first shoe in 1992- a men’s logger boot on brand with the grunge style of clothing of the time. This was a strong introduction, but wasn’t enough to catapult the brand.
In 1993, the Chrome Domes became Skechers polarizing debut to the street shoe stage.
Purposely worn in, scruffy, and a blend between the sole of a boot and the body of a shoe, Chrome Domes is exactly the urban unisex shoe Greenberg wanted to make.
Chrome Domes lend themselves to skating, grunge-aesthetics, and burgeoning hip hop heads alike.
Overall, this line of genius, futuristic shoes is just as relevant on the feets of today’s youth as they were on the youth of the 90s.
Skechers carved a special niche for itself by focusing on style and the wearer.
Opposingly, Nike, Rebok, and Adidas focused on performance quality, something Skechers would eventually embrace as well.
Chrome Domes look heavy on the feet, but durable enough to get dirty and have fun in.
Focusing on streetwear proved Skechers had futuristic insights, as today, streetwear has completely taken over the fashion market.
When Did Skechers Become So Popular?
In 1993, following the mega-success of its Chrome Dome shoes, Skechers continued building buzz with big name celebrity endorsements.
Throughout the 1990s, as the color palettes and styles of Skechers widened, marketing the product found its impact on the feet of some of the most recognizable people in youth culture.
Britney Spears made Skechers look fun and fashionable. Christina Aguleira made Skechers look cute with a little edge in her advertisements for the brand.
Familiar faces and their identifiable size were the right combination at the right time, making the shoes instantly recognizable and desired.
Did L.A. Gear Become Skechers?
L.A. Gear did not become Skechers. Rather, the two companies who share a founder were and still are two separate entities.
The California based L.A. Gear was Greenberg’s 80’s baby.
Skechers was all about the 90’s youth, and even before his former business hit a plateau into its decline, Greenberg knew he had to redirect himself, thus creating Skechers.
As L.A. Gear’s stock began to tank, going from $50 a share to $10 in 1993, founder Robert Greenberg stepped down from the brand and reset his shoewear sights.
Still, the company had plans to continue and appeal to a higher end clientele, but those efforts were not well received. As a way to get rid of inventory, L.A. Gear began selling at swap meets.
In 1995, L.A. Gear entered a three-year contract with Walmart to sell shoes exclusively designed for them. In 1998, L.A. Gear filed for bankruptcy.
Is Skechers a Chinese Company?
Skechers imports from China, but it’s not a Chinese company.
China and Vietnam are the two countries in which Skechers bases its production. There is no documentation of any manufacturing taking place in America.
Skechers has remained headquartered in Manhattan Beach, California since 1992.
Shape-shifting, reinventing, and transforming as a business for many years, Skechers has found new ways to not only stay afloat, but thrive.
From one generation to the next, Skechers remain. For their level of comfort, attention to trends, and grasp of celebrity influence, Skechers has kept its name on the feet of many with no plan on slowing down.