Skechers is an American shoe company that creates trendy, casual shoes for men and women ages 19 to 40. The multimillion-dollar company produces over 900 different shoe styles in manufacturing facilities in China, Romania, Mexico and Brazil. Skechers shoes are available at large department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom as well as at 38 of its own boutiques.
Skechers was founded in 1992 by retail industry veteran Robert Greenberg, who had previously created women’s athletic wear brand L.A. Gear in 1983. In his career, Greenberg had sold wigs to beauty vendors in Boston, imported designer jeans for retail markets and owned his own roller skate stores.
At the outset, Greenberg intended for his brand to distribute British-made Dr. Martens shoes. The two companies later had a dispute involving order deliveries, and by 1993, Sketchers was on its own and had to rely on its own designs to prosper.
By 1997, the company began selling shoes overseas in southeast Asia and eastern Europe. By 1998, 15 percent of the company’s profit came from overseas markets.
The original goal of Skechers was to provide men with casual nonathletic shoes. The dominant maker of men’s shoes at the time was Nike, but it didn’t offer very many street shoes.
Skechers’ first successful design was called the “Chrome Dome,” which debuted in 1993. It appealed to both men and women, and was inspired by the grunge fashion trend in the 1990s. The Skechers shoe was made to look worn and the heels appeared scuffed up, matching pre-ripped and stone-washed jeans also popular at the time.