CHARLESTON, S.C., Nov. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For the past 80 years, presidents and painters, actors and athletes, teachers and technicians, and millions of others have started their day by slipping on a pair of Gold Toe® socks.
Born out of the Great Depression when a durable sock was most in demand, the iconic Gold Toe® sock celebrates its 80th anniversary this year as one of the country's most famous – and recognizable – hosiery brands. The venerable sock will celebrate its milestone this month with a number of promotions and contests surrounding its 80 years selling socks. It is also partnering with clothing charities on a donation program and introducing line extensions.
"Few American brands have stood the test of time as Gold Toe®. We've rolled with the whims of cultural and lifestyle changes, and adapted to the ever-evolving dictates of fashion – from three-piece suits and bell-bottoms to leisure suits and casual Fridays," said Trish McHale, vice president of marketing for Gold Toe®. "It's been a remarkable history, but we've made it clear that we don't live in the past. Our styles, colors and innovation will continue to make us 'The best socks on two feet™' for the next 80 years."
The Gold Toe® brand will be stepping into the footwear business by debuting its first branded line of slippers for men and women this month. The brand has already moved from making just socks to other dressing essentials for men, women and kids.
"Gold Toe® will forever be known as a great American sock, but that doesn't preclude us from leveraging this proven reputation for style, comfort and durability to expand our portfolio to other apparel items befitting the brand," said Ms. McHale. "We're inspired to continue moving this great brand forward."
And the "G®" collection of apparel and accessories is indicative of the Gold Toe® brand's concerted effort to remain contemporary and fashion forward to a younger consumer. The "G®" collection offers fashion socks, underwear, T-shirts, active fleece, slippers, and other comfortable and trend-right goods.
Three German immigrants founded the Great American Knitting Mills in Pennsylvania in 1919. When a cousin of one founder's wife later joined the company, he used his engineering background to develop the "linenized toe." Irish linen proved to be significantly stronger than cotton, and more resistant to fraying and holes. In 1934, a department store executive mentioned to company executives that consumers were unable to distinguish the sock with the linenized toe from others. In response, Great American Knitting Mills began wrapping a gold thread of acetate around the linen to differentiate its sock from the competition. The Gold Toe® sock was born.
As the Gold Toe® brand grew in prestige and popularity, the socks became so desirable that the company decided that only one retailer per city would be permitted to sell the coveted line. Since its inception, Gold Toe® has always been a leading sock brand at department stores by offering an extremely diversified number of styles, up to 600 currently. A number of its famed styles that were introduced generations ago continue to be asked for by name, including the Fluffies®, Metropolitan, Canterbury and Bermuda.
To promote its anniversary, Gold Toe® is celebrating "80 Days of Gold Toe" via its social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter), where it will award weekly product giveaways and a grand prize of a $1,500 wardrobe makeover at its conclusion. The "80 Days of Gold Toe" will highlight the brand over the years via vintage styles and old ads, as well as spotlight the exciting new styles and fashion tips for today's Gold Toe® brand wearer.
The trademarked gold thread that is knit into the toe is a recognized symbol identifying the Gold Toe® brand as the "Standard of Quality®" and durability in hosiery. Initially a favorite of those looking for a long-lasting sock during the Great Depression, the Gold Toe® brand has continued to thrive over the past 80 years by continuously offering a quality product that is durable, comfortable and affordable – a formula that never goes out of style.
About Gold Toe
Today, the Gold Toe® brand is the number one brand of socks (men's, women's and kids') in department stores and national chains for dress, casual and athletic combined. Gold Toe® Men's underwear and casualwear collections can also be found in the same channels of distribution. In addition, there are more than 50 Gold Toe® retail stores currently in the country, with more stores opening this year. Gold Toe® is a brand owned by Gildan USA Inc., a leading supplier of quality branded basic family apparel, including T-shirts, fleece, sport shirts, socks and underwear, which sells its products under a diversified portfolio of brands, including the Gildan® and Anvil® brand family, as well as the recently acquired Secret®, Silk™ and Therapy Plus™ brands. Gildan also has license agreements for the Under Armour®, Mossy Oak® and New Balance® brands.
SOURCE Gold Toe