Cole Haan Grandpro Running Sneaker History
Cole Haan started off as a male-centric brand way back when sneakers were not much of a thing aside from footwear being used by thieves. It was founded in 1928 by Eddie Haan and Trafton Cole at the city coined as the windiest of them all—Chicago.
Two men creating lifestyle wear was probably the reason the brand produced iterations for the gentlemen only. But as the population of the world increased and consumerism overthrew the apparel market, the Chicago company swiveled into demand.
Soon after, the U.S. brand began diversifying its products tapping all platforms of design by gradually introducing options for women and children as well. But as the company grew, their initial vision of sophistication never hindered. In 1975, an offer to buy the company was laid on the table.
George Denney and several partners bought the rights to Cole Haan and promised to uphold the quality the Chicago producer maintained throughout the years. The purchase was a shake-up in the popularity of the brand which now reaches untapped markets and enlists itself as one of the top labels in the 70’s.
Retailing was the next step for Cole Haan’s success which led to establishing 42 stores worldwide and culminating annual sales of $70 million by 1996. Trouble is always a cousin of success, and in 1988, sportswear giant Nike bought the firm for $80 million which was also the reason behind its turn out.
Nike also injected their brilliance into their Cole Haan models by assembling it with their most coveted Air technology. The initial goal of the movement was to merge comfort and class. But the partnership grew sour, mutually, and Cole Haan was up for grabs again.
Finally, in 2012, Apax Partners bought Cole Haan for a whopping $570 million. This entitled the shoe brand to stand on its own while continuously providing consumers with innovative ideas for their dress-shoe lineup. One of the most recent models is the Grand Zero which employs casual details in their famous wingtips and oxfords.
Aside from dress shoes, Cole Haan also indulged themselves into more casual options for lifestyle wear as evident with their GrandPro franchise. One of the sneakers bearing the GrandPro nomenclature is the Cole Haan GrandPro Running which was released with gender-dependent colorways. Women can avail of the gold-metallic version while men can dress up with the black colorway.