Iconic American Footwear. GH Bass & Co. products reflect a rich history of design and an aesthetic driven by the brand's New England heritage/roots.
G.H. Bass & Co. is an iconic footwear brand that embodies classic American style by combining New England prep, rugged outdoor design, and industry renowned quality and durability. Born of the craftsmanship of an American entrepreneur, George Henry Bass, the brand has been associated with creating and defining trends in the footwear industry since 1876. Bass footwear, particularly the beloved Weejuns penny loafer, embody a look that is at once collegiate, classic and universally wearable. Bass footwear, as well as G.H. Bass & Co. apparel and apparel-related products, is primarily sold in the United States, with distribution through the wholesale, retail and e-commerce channels. In addition, the Bass brand has select international distribution and maintains strong global brand awareness.
Today, Bass continues to be relevant as an American classic, enjoying international acclaim in 2011 with a Weejuns collection designed by Tommy Hilfiger that was sold by some of the most prestigious fashion retailers in Europe. It also recently launched the 75th anniversary collection of Weejuns loafers in the United States. Both limited-edition collections represent the standard in premium design and are hand-crafted with a unique dedication to both quality and construction. Weejuns also recently celebrated exciting collaborative collections with designers Rachel Antonoff and Mark McNairy for women's and men's shoes, respectively. Successfully distributed in our own Bass retail stores and retailers like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom's, and J. Crew, these distinctive collections have added modernity and style to the classic portfolio of Bass products for the past two years.
The history of the Bass brand is truly the story of its historic footwear. From G.H. Bass & Co.'s inception, its reputation for quality made it the top choice of celebrities, adventurers and American heroes. The Bass Aviation Boot was the official aviation boot for the U.S. Army in World War I. In 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh wore a pair of Bass Aviation Boots on his historic solo flight from New York to Paris. In 1930, legendary golfer Bobby Jones won the only Grand Slam in golfing history wearing Bass Sportocassins and Admiral Robert Byrd wore Bass boots on his "Antarctic Expedition II" from 1933-1935, as he explored the South Pole.
Many other Bass shoes have made their mark on history and culture: the white Bass Bucs Pat Boone popularized as an entertainer in the 1950's; Sunjuns, the classic women's summer sandal, and Bass Driving Balmorals, one of the earliest spiked logger boots. Perhaps no Bass shoe has a history that is richer or more enduring than that of the Weejuns, the first penny loafer. Currently celebrating the 75th anniversary of their introduction, Weejuns were inspired by a Norwegian slip-on moccasin style "loafer" that was popular in Europe and with visiting Americans. G.H. Bass & Co. seized upon the idea, adding, among other things, a strip of leather across the saddle with a diamond cut out that American prep schoolers later embellished by inserting a penny into the top. The look gave rise to the iconic "penny loafer" term now applied to loafers, generally. The popularity of the Weejuns was instant. Renowned for comfort, durability and hand-stitching, the trend spread across New England and its plentiful prep school and college campuses. In the 1960's, the Weejuns look was at the height of its popularity, but classic design and universal appeal continue to make Weejuns a wardrobe staple today. Throughout their history, Weejuns have been photographed on the likes of James Dean and have been moonwalked in by Michael Jackson.
PVH acquired G.H. Bass & Co. and its Bass brand in 1987. PVH has continued to respect the beloved styles and solid workmanship that made G.H. Bass & Co. famous and so many of its shoes timeless classics. Bass footwear captures the essence of American casual and weekend footwear and continues to be the brand of choice for those who seek quality, style, and value.