Ferocious About Fit Since 1878

George Warren Brown with a cityscape moving behind him.

1860s

Shoes were under designed commodities. For the average person, cobblers made the same shoe for the left and right foot, and it was hard to tell men’s from women’s shoes.
Bryan, Brown, & Co. building from the 1800s.

1878

George Warren Brown wanted to make shoes for the ordinary person. His mission was to educate people how shoes should fit. Brown saw the potential to manufacture shoes in St. Louis as opposed to shipping in shoes from New England and a shoe company was born!

1881

The company incorporated and for the first time, stock was issued.

Brown Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis.

1885

The ‘star-five-star’ mark has been in use by the company since 1885 and represents the company’s promise and dedication to creating the perfect fit. "We will pay $5.00 in cash and give a new pair of shoes free to any wearer who finds paper in the outsoles, insoles, counters or heels of any shoe bearing this trade-mark."
Brown Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis.

1891

By this time, the company had grown enough to lease this seven-story building in downtown St. Louis. The four upper floors were dedicated to the manufacture of boots and shoes. The remaining floors had store rooms, offices, sample rooms, the shipping department, and the rubber department.

1895

600 employees and could make 5,000 pairs of shoes and boots a day.

Brown Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis.

1904

The rights to use Buster Brown were secured and he was introduced to sell Blue Ribbon children’s shoes at the 1904 World’s Fair.
Brown Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis.

1911

White House was the quality line during this decade for men and women and was advertised in the Saturday Evening Post.

1913

Listed on NYSE.

Brown Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis.

1917

Starting in 1917, the company secured military contracts with the United States government.

1922

Allen Edmonds founder Elbert W. Allen launched his new shoe company in Belgium, Wisconsin. A family man at heart, Allen knew, as did his future partner and salesman extraordinaire, Bill "Pops" Edmonds, that to be a success they needed to stay close to their roots, knowing that the Midwestern values of hard work, honesty, humility and trust would be the cornerstones of a new kind of shoe company.

Brown Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis.

1927

Naturalizer, the shoe with the beautiful fit, was born.
Brown Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis.

1940

The Lifestride brand was launched and ran an ad campaign “A Young Point of View in Shoes” in Mademoiselle magazine.

1951

Acquisition of Wohl Shoe Company, which wholesaled mostly women's shoes in 2,500 stores in North America and Cuba. This began the push into retail.

Brown Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis.

1952

After 74 years in downtown St. Louis, the company moves into its new headquarters in Clayton, Mo.

1953

Regal Shoes large retail chain was acquired.

Brown Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis.

1959

Dr. William Scholl designs a simple wood sandal with a brightly colored strap inspired by a vintage clog he found on his travels.
Brown Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis.

1960

With a $10,000 loan, 29-year-old Neil Moldenhauer opens "Neil's Factory Outlet Shoes" in Madison, Wisconsin. Neil's concept, "Brand name shoes for less," is decades ahead of its time and will later become Famous Footwear.
Brown Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis.

1981

Famous Footwear acquired. Today Famous Footwear has more than 1,100 stores in the U.S. and Canada. The chain offers consumers more than 100 nationally recognized brands through its retail stores and website.

1991

Dr. Scholl’s long-term license is signed. The iconic Dr. Scholl Original sandal continues to be loved by generations of women.

carlos timeline

2002

The company launched Carlos by Carlos Santana, inspired by the music legend’s soulful vibe with distinctive, statement-making styles.

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2005

Bennett Footwear Group is acquired including the Via Spiga and Franco Sarto brands.
fergie timeline

2008

The company partners with Grammy-winning pop star Fergie to create a namesake brand of footwear for trend-led fashionistas.

sam timeline

2010

Caleres finalizes complete acquisition of Sam Edelman. Over the next decade, Sam expands into a lifestyle brand with handbags, jewelry and clothing extensions.
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2011

Company acquires American Sporting Goods, Inc and the Rykä brand. Rykä is an athletic brand made specifically for a women’s foot.
vince timeline

2011

A licensing agreement was signed with luxury apparel leader Vince, launching the brand's premiere footwear line.  
dvf timeline

2015

The company enters into a licensing agreement with fashion icon Diane Von Furstenburg to create a shoe line that mirrors her distinctive, artistic and feminine style.

View of the front of the Caleres headquarter building in Clayton, MO.

2015

Brown Shoe Company becomes Caleres. The name Caleres and the ‘Star-Five-Star’ mark, reflect the company’s history and its passion for fit. Caleres was derived from the Latin word ‘calere,’ which translates to ‘passionate, to glow.’ The ‘Star-Five-Star’ mark has been in use by the company since 1885.

2017

Caleres acquires Allen Edmonds. Some things remain timeless. Allen Edmonds still today maintains its traditional 212-step manufacturing process that has been the basis for handcrafting Allen Edmonds Goodyear welted shoes since 1922.

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