Here at Jack Schwartz Shoes Inc., we are more than just a footwear company – we are a family owned establishment that takes great pride in our craft. Our mission has always been to provide fashionable, comfortable and durable products. With 4 generations of family, and 8 decades of experience, our versatility and unparalleled perseverance are the keys to our success.
JACK SCHWARTZ SHOES INC.
A FOOTWEAR COMPANY
Jack Schwartz Shoes Inc., (JSSI) is a family owned business that has been an American manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of footwear for almost 80 years. With offices in Soho, New York and Guangzhou, China, JSSI currently manufactures Lugz Footwear and British Knights Sneakers and holds the exclusive men’s footwear license for Andrew Marc and Marc New York.
Jack Schwartz Shoes was founded at the height of the depression on March 1, 1936. The first storefront was located at 115 West Broadway in New York City. In 1940, the business moved to 138 Duane Street and stayed at that location for 50 years until moving to its current Soho location in 1990. In the early days, JSSI was a wholesaler of well-known brands such as Kent Howard and Charles Walker. Jack Schwartz passed away at the early age of 44 in 1944 and his son, Donald, stepped in and kept the family’s dream alive. Jack’s other son Bernard completed college and joined the business in 1946 and was chairman of the company until he passed away in 2014. Donald’s son Jack joined the company in 1972 and is now the current chairman.
In 1976, JSSI saw an opportunity to branch out and launched their first branded line of footwear – Pro Players. In 1980, Bernard’s daughter Janet Feldman joined the family business as Vice President, overseeing all Production and Operations, inclusive of both the China Offices and New York Offices. With the success of Pro Players, they launched their second brand British Knights in 1983 with the introduction of a boat shoe. In 1985, Donald’s other son Larry Schwartz joined the company.
1985 was also the year fashion athletic footwear was added to the British Knights brand, along with afull apparel division. Larry oversaw all marketing, utilizing high profile artists and athlete endorsers such as Kool Moe Dee, MC Hammer and Derrick Coleman in TV, print and radio. With the huge success of British Knights, JSSI moved in 1990 to their current headquarters on Avenue of the Americas. It was also the year that British Knights expanded internationally.
As the brown shoe market took off in the 90’s, the Lugz brand was introduced in 1993 to take a lead in this new fashion trend. In addition to footwear, the brand also had huge success with their full apparel line, inclusive of denim, fleece and outerwear. In 2001, David Schwartz, Jack’s son, joined the company as a salesman and has worked in the production and design departments of the company. David is the 4th generation of his family to work at JSSI and is currently the President, overseeing production and new business development.
Lugz has been endorsed by some well-known celebrities such as Erick Sermon, Snoop Dogg, FunkMaster Flex, Birdman and the Orange County Choppers. Lugz is trademarked throughout the world for both footwear and apparel. Amidst the success of Lugz, a 4th brand name was developed and in 2005, the Sneaux skate fashion footwear line was introduced. Sneaux was launched with Steve-O of Jackass fame as its endorser and gained ground in the skate fashion arena. 2012 saw the first licensing agreement for JSSI – to become a licensee of Andrew Marc / Marc New York Men’s footwear. JSSI continues to look for more opportunities to provide manufacturing capabilities to existing brands.
Born in NYC, British Knights were dreamt up by sneaker biz underdogs, a small, family-owned company with four generations of experience in the footwear game. Back in an era when sneakers meant sports, British Knights took their cues from the street - from the fresh new energy of hip hop music and the explosive colors of graffiti art. Inspired by our own unique place in pop culture history, British Knights is finally back, with a new look and a new mantra. For us, artists are the new athletes. Our revamped, resurrected line reflects this philosophy by nurturing design partnerships and creative projects with up-and-coming artists from around the globe. Get ready for a series of inspired alliances and collaborative creations that will honor BK’s long legacy of imagination and originality.
Always an innovator and leader in footwear, Lugz first made a name for itself in October of 1993. Bringing its first line of boots to market, the initial product consisting of two styles of boots, a quilted vest and a pair of jeans. Soon Lugz was endorsed by key players from the world of hip hop and has continued to do so through out the years. One such collaboration led Lugz to breathe life to a whole new category of footwear with the introduction of the first ever celebrity-endorsed "Funk Master Flex" urban driving shoe. This was only the beginning as support then lead to a collaborative line with hip-hop superstar Bryan "Baby" Williams, aka "Birdman" with his own series of sneakers and boots. Lugz continues to work with many influencers from around the world to continue to keep the brand current and fresh.
ANDREW MARC FOOTWEAR
In 2012, Andrew Marc granted JSSI the exclusive license for men's footwear for Andrew Marc and Marc New York. As a brand, Andrew Marc positions itself as unapologetically sexy, rugged, and authentic. Since 1982, their craftsmanship has been the heart and soul of each design; utilizing unique signature hardware and superior leathers. With each season, JSSI remains true to Andrew Marc's commitment to crafting luxury products that define fashion, defy trends and ultimately, stand the test of time. With the acquisition of this line of footwear, new distribution channels have been opened, providing access to more high-end retail opportunities.
Amidst the success of Lugz, a 4th brand name was developed and in 2005, the Sneaux skate fashion footwear line. SNEAUX sneakers reflected the energetic lifestyles of youth culture. These shoes were for those who don’t follow trends, are edgy and live life to the fullest. Sneaux was launched with Steve-O of Jackass fame as its endorser and gained ground in the skate fashion arena. Television ads for Sneaux Shoes depicted Steve-O getting his foot bitten by an alligator and other stunts. Sneaux Shoes were known not only for their durability, but also for their unique style and detailing.