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Saucony Celebrates 125 Years & Running

By February 17, 2023Fashion News, Sneakers

A major milestone in the company's storied History.

The origins of Saucony can be traced back to the early 1900s, when four businessmen in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, decided to start a shoe company. The company was named after the Saucony Creek, which flowed near the factory where the shoes were made. At first, the company only made shoes for men, but by the 1920s, they had expanded to women’s shoes as well and now 125 years later, Saucony hosted its House of Originals presentation on Rue du Temple, 75003, Paris during Paris Fashion Week. Here I sat down with Kathryn Pratt, Saucony’s Chief Marketing Officer who is passionate about leveraging the power of a brand to emotionally connect, change behaviour or and start conversations. Walking through the archives, we spoke about how Saucony is celebrating this major milestone in the brand’s storied history. 

PHOTO CREDIT: SAUCONY

During the early years, Saucony was known for its sturdy and reliable work boots. The shoes were made with high-quality materials and were designed to last for years, even in tough working conditions. This reputation for durability helped to establish the brand as a trusted name in the footwear industry. With a set foundation of quality and durability, in the 1960s, Saucony would naturally evolve and began to focus more on athletic footwear. On its way to establishing itself as one of the leading brands in the athletic footwear market, Saucony would begin to develop shoes specifically for running athletes, while also sponsoring runners and athletes from other sports.

PHOTO CREDIT: SAUCONY

With silhouettes like the Jazz, Shadow, SpotBilt and the ProGrid, Saucony has continued to push the boundaries, innovate and evolve over the years, introducing new technologies such as 3D printing, using recycled materials  and expanding its product line to focus more on lifestyle and fashion. Introducing the brand to a new generation of fashion savvy customers who appreciate the brand’s sleek designs and high-quality construction, Saucony has collaborated with fashion designers and streetwear brands to create limited-edition collections that are not only fashionable but also functional, blending performance and style. ‘I think the big piece honestly is this convergence of performance and lifestyle. So there’s no longer this big disconnect between the two, and the benefit we have is that we are so strong in both performance and lifestyle that we are now presenting products that really live across [both categories] and represent that space where they overlap, which is pretty unique for us.’ Explains Kathryn Pratt, Saucony’s Chief Marketing Officer. 

PHOTO CREDIT: SAUCONY

Tapping some of the most talented and well-known names in the fashion and design world, from designer Ronnie Fieg’s KITH to Korean brands such as Beams and streetwear publications like Highsnobiety, to produce limited edition shoes, which has helped to further establish the brand as a leader in both performance and style, Saucony has had a turned to collaborations to present a new and refreshed look of their extensive archives. Pratt says, “I think what the collaborators have done is, they have sort of validated our archives because they [creative collaborators] look at it and that’s where they are seeking inspiration. And it’s amazing for us to see them take one style and the endless opportunities that, that one style has based on the creator we’re working with so it’s like they become this canvas for creators to draw inspiration from but to bring their own aesthetic into, and looking at our collaborations wall, they all look so unique but they’re all still very Saucony.

PHOTO CREDIT: SAUCONY

Recently Saucony has also begun to focus more on sustainability. The brand has implemented environmentally-friendly practices in its manufacturing process and has introduced a line of shoes made from recycled materials. This has helped to establish Saucony as a brand that is not only committed to performance but also to the environment. The brand has always been about performance, but it has also been able to adapt and evolve to stay relevant without losing its core identity in the ever-changing fashion world, where trends and constantly shifting consumer behaviour is the order of the day. “We’re obviously very mindful about trends,” explains Pratt, “…but we’re also very thoughtful about how it applies.”authentically to Saucony. So we won’t just chase something because that’s what the consumer has an appetite for at that moment, we’re really mindful to find the right partners, to do the right designs that definitely feel authentic to the Saucony brand.”

PHOTO CREDIT: SAUCONY

Celebrating 125 years is no small feat and Saucony is a footwear brand that has evolved over the past century from a small, regional company to a global brand known for its high-quality running shoes. Looking to the future ‘we definitely have some things planned for this year and this anniversary so it’s going to be a thread throughout all of our story telling, it’s a thread throughout all our product. But I think what it’s doing for us internally is, it’s forcing us to sit back and look at how we want the brand to continue to evolve’ tells the chief marketing officer.

From collaborations with fashion designers, to sustainability, Saucony is a brand that continues to innovate and evolve. As a challenger brand,  Saucony is poised to continue to be a major player in the footwear market, offering consumers shoes that are not only stylish and high-performing, but also sustainable and socially responsible. The brand has not just proven to be a shoe but a lifestyle, a symbol of quality and innovation that will continue to be an essential part of the fashion and athletic communities for years to come.

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