From Shirts to Shoes: A Recent History of Clothing Brands That Launched Sneaker Lines

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The high cost of entry and the fickle footwear market makes creating a sneaker line a very daunting task. While many makers have chosen either sport or runway fashion as a launching pad, one of the most successful means of entry has been via an established clothing company.

In recent years, the explosion of streetwear, sneakers and the internet has led to some of the most celebrated new footwear lines. While success for such lines has been varied and hard to compare to that of the long established brands, it’s worth chronicling as well as congratulating. Focusing primarily on streetwear favorites of the past two decades, we offer a recent history of clothing brands that launched sneaker lines.

*Note* This piece is limited to clothing companies that launched and produced their own sneaker line, rather than clothing companies that collaborated on footwear with already established brands.


Clothes: 1999
Kicks: 2000

Though many brands and boutiques are cooking up classics in the collab realm these days, ALIFE is one of the true legends in the field. After being birthed in 1999, ALIFE launched the RTFT line shortly after which later became ALIFE Footwear in 2006. The founder’s family roots in footwear proved a solid base to both launch a brand and collaborate with others. While many companies got their feet wet working with big names first, ALIFE produced shoes from the get-go while creating game changing collabs with just about every solid shoe supplier. Though somewhat out of the market for the past year, ALIFE is constantly evolving and reinventing itself. It appears new footwear from ALIFE is on the way.

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