Fit for the Times: Brown Shoe Company Unveils Major Rebranding Initiative and New Name

By Jennifer Dulin Wiley
In Style

St. Louis’ Brown Shoe Company is stepping boldly into the future of fashion and the global shoe industry with a new name: Caleres. ALIVE was honored to witness the official unveiling of the shoe empire’s major rebranding initiative and new name that, in the words of CEO, President and Chairman of the Board Diane Sullivan, “uses the company’s 137-year history as the fuel for its future.”

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Inspired by the Latin word “calere,” meaning “passionate; to glow,” the new name—set to further position the brand as a global player in the industry—also incorporates the company’s storied history and “ferocious commitment to fit” that dates back to the days of its founder, George Warren Brown, a pioneer in educating consumers on the importance of fit, first to your feet and then gender. The company has held true to its “fit” mission throughout many successful years, updating its meaning to fitting the stylish consumer’s personality and lifestyle.

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Image by Ashley Lear.

It’s a mantra that Sullivan believes will help elevate the company and its successful brands, including Sam Edelman, the recently acquired Diane Von Furstenberg, Vince, Via Spiga, and others, to new heights. “One passion has defined our culture: We are ferocious about fit,” Sullivan said during the unveiling. The company’s “Star-Five-Star” mark, a symbol of quality and fit that was once stamped onto the bottom of its early shoe styles, has been incorporated into the Caleres logo to reflect this vision that will continue to define the bold brand. Bringing the rebranding initiative full circle is a new rugged, artisanal men’s line, Brown Shoe Bootmakers, to launch early next year.

Photo by Jennifer Dulin Wiley.

Photo by Jennifer Dulin Wiley.

The new name, Sullivan shared, is the company’s next step to building global relevance, staying “fit” for the consumer and creating a portfolio of relevant brands that endure. Its mission of “Inspiring people to feel good—feet first” remains at the company’s core, and as Sullivan raised a glass to the future of Caleres in a toast that included the company’s St. Louis and New York offices, as well as several locales overseas, it was obvious that this is only the beginning.

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Kelly Malone, Elizabeth Tucker, Peggy Reilly Tharp and Jennifer Dulin Wiley. Image by Ashley Lear.

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