Original Earth shoes were a prominent part
of the 1970's footwear scene. The shoe with the "negative
heel" was hot then, and now the hip, classic styles
are being relaunched. Travel back in time with us on this
page to learn about the history of Earth brand footwear.
There are many compelling reasons to wear Original Earth
shoes: they promote good health, they add style to any outfit,
and they are very comfortable. Enjoy this earthy shoe that's
"Back from the Past," and enjoy shopping at EarthBeach.com!
We love our original Earth Shoes!
Anne Kalso®, a Danish
yoga instructor travels to a monastery in Santos Brazil to
further her studies. She observes the superb posture of the
Brazilian Indians with their heel prints in sand, which are
lower than their toe prints. Kalso discovers that by flexing
the foot or by lowering the heel, one could achieve a feeling
similar to the Yoga mountain pose.
With the help of a Portuguese
shoe maker, Kalso begins to redefine her concept. She personally
tests the new footwear models, sometimes on hikes of 500 miles
Anne opens a retail store
in Copenhagen and begins to sell the Kalso Minus Heel
While vacationing in Europe
in the Summer of 1969, Americans Raymond and Eleanor Jacobs
discover the remarkable comfort of the Kalso Minus Heel Shoe.
The Jacobs earn the respect of Anne Kalso, and an agreement
for U.S. distribution is finalized.
On April 1, 1970, Earth Shoes are
born in the United States. The Kalso Minus Heel store is
opened by the Jacobs in a non-traditional retail location:
E. 17th Street, New York City. Coincidentally, April 1 was
the first Earth Day celebration in the U.S. Upon discovering
this, Eleanor puts a handwritten sign in the retail store
window, Earth Shoes, which caught the attention
of passers by.
Earth expands distribution. Through
word of mouth, articles, and unsolicited testimonial, the
concept quickly becomes popularized. Customers, so impressed
with the product line, begin to open their own stores throughout
The original Earth Shoes.
In September, the first
Earth factory opens due to demand of the shoe exceeding supply.
In order to shorten the delivery timeline and eliminate import
challenges, the first U.S. factory opened in Middleboro, Massachusetts.
Stores continue to roll-out throughout the U.S. and Canada.
In early 1974, Earth launches
its first advertising campaign. Time Magazine runs an extensive
story (as does Vogue, Cosmo, Glamour, GQ, The New York Times,
and more). The Jacobs appear on TV shows such as Johnny
Carson, Whats My Line, and To Tell the Truth. The Metropolitan
Museum of Art places an Earth shoe on permanent display. The
Factory cannot keep up with the overwhelming pace of customer
demand, and lines form outside stores now 60 locations
coast to coast. The Los Angeles store changes its phone number
four times to avoid customer calls. Mail-order is backlogged
by 3,500 pairs. Demand overwhelmingly exceeds supply.
With over 135 stores open
throughout the country, expansion plans are booming. Earth
broadens the product offering in footwear, leather goods,
bags, belts, socks and leather accessories.
Store owners file a lawsuit
against the company regarding retail store locations and availability
of sufficient inventory to support demand. A legal battle
ensues, and the Earth brand disappears, but does not die .
After more than 30 years
of designing and manufacturing footwear for major brands,
European designer Michel Meynard decides to look for an opportunity
to launch his own brand. While traveling throughout Europe,
Michel spots a Levis billboard with a model wearing
Earth styled shoes. Over a four-year period, Meynard Designs
Inc., secures all related rights to Earth Brand from a variety
of individuals formerly associated with Kalso Systemette,
Inc. The business plan is developed and refined for Earth®
Brand with the Negative Heel Technology for a more upscale
In the Summer of 2000,
former and extremely devoted -- Earth Shoe wearers
discover the Earth web site (www.earth.us) and provide unsolicited
testimonial for the Earth brands unique comfort experience.
Word begins to spread: the Original Negative Heel Technology
will once again be available. The footwear industry begins
to learn that Earth is returning.
Re-branding work by Boston-based
Holland Mark Advertising features a hip, unconventional approach
to reach contemporary consumers, targeting an independent,
style-setting group which Earth deems Generation I.
Spring sell-in begins as Earth launches
its Fall 2001 line at WSA (Western Shoe Association Show
in Las Vegas) and regional trade shows. Distribution is
secured throughout the U.S. Later, the first Earth Brand
International sales meeting is held in Brussels, Belgium.
Nine distributors representing Canada and European countries
introduce Earth Brand globally.
On April 29, Earth Footwear is debuted
to the public at Bostons Earth Fest, an all-day outdoor
Earth Day celebration. Attendees praise the return of Earth
Footwear, Theyre selling Earth again. Incredible.
In August, Earth launches its Spring
2002 line at WSA and regional shows. Earth Brand expands
to include comfort-driven leather bags, along with shoe
care and accessories.
After a quarter of a century,
Earth Brand footwear is reintroduced to the retail marketplace.
The "Solar" Shoe
The "Kharma" Clog
The "Sassy" Sandal
Earth Footwear named Brand
of the Year by ShoesOnTheNet.com, the leading footwear
portal on the Internet. Presented on February 11, 2002, at
the WSA Show in Las Vegas, the award recognizes Earth Footwear
for its successful re-entry into the footwear market.
Earth launches its first-ever
Earth Classic Collection in response to consumer demand for
authentic70s Retro styling in footwear.
The Earth Nature sandal
is among J.Jill and other retailers best sellers. Trendy Fashion
designer Francis Hendy, selects Earth Fall 03 styles for his
NY FASHION WEEK runway show. Earth is the hit of the show,
at the first-ever Yoga Expo in L.A.
Earth receives the APMA
seal of acceptance for the health benefits of its footwear
design. The Earth Vegan collection is introduced, with certification
from the Vegan Society.
Read these exciting news articles about Earth
Shoes from the past and present
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