For nine decades, Schwartz & Benjamin has led the industry with its licensing model and reaped the rewards.
1923 — Company is founded by Benjamin Schwartz and Benjamin Benjamin and the partners open a shoe factory in Brooklyn, N.Y., selling shoes under the Customcraft label. Eventually, the factory moves to Manhattan.
1934 — Ben Schwartz creates and directs The Shoe Club of New York, a charitable group for shoe people in need.
1946 — Ben’s son, Arthur Schwartz, joins the company.
1951 — The Shoe Club merges with Two Ten Footwear Foundation. Ben Schwartz is named regional chairman of New York.
1955 — Eli Footer joins the company as a salesman and eventually becomes co-chairman in 1995.
1958 — Construction begins on factory in Lynn, Mass.
Early-1960s — The firm introduces ground-breaking Cloud 7 style.
1962 — Company enters into design collaboration with Charles Jourdan for Customcraft.
1968 — Arthur Schwartz is named president.
1969 — Phyllis Footer joins the firm on a part-time basis and is eventually made a VP of product, where she works with such designers as Donna Karan and Andrea Pfister (at right).
— Company signs Yves Saint Laurent license for the U.S. and Canada, beginning a 31-year collaboration.
1970 — Givenchy taps the company as a licensee, kicking off a 12-year partnership.
1972 — Arthur Schwartz and Luigino Rossi establish a 35-year manufacturing relationship on a handshake.
1974 — Ben Schwartz passes away.
— Massachusetts shoe factory closes, and the business shifts to a predominantly licensing model as all manufacturing moves to Italy.
— Firm inks deal for Anne Klein license, beginning a 33-year relationship.
1975 — Danny Schwartz, at 22 years old, joins his father in the business.
1976 — Barbara Rienzo (Schwartz) joins the company as a showroom model and receptionist.
1978 — Porsche Design men’s and women’s driving shoes are introduced.
1982 — Givenchy license ends.
1986 — Loran Wurdeman joins firm as controller, based in Massachusetts.
1990 — Firm adds and begins marketing the Anne Klein II brand in addition to Anne Klein.
1992 — Arthur Schwartz is inducted into Footwear News’ Hall of Fame.
— The A Line Anne Klein brand is added.
1993 — Danny Schwartz becomes president.
— Loran Wurdeman is named CFO based in Massachusetts.
Late-1990s — Company begins importing shoes from Brazil.
1999 — Eli Footer is inducted into the FN Hall of Fame.
2000 — Steve Shapiro joins the firm as VP and division head of all Anne Klein collections.
— Licensing deal inked with Michael Kors.
— Gucci purchases Yves Saint Laurent and brings the YSL footwear business in-house.
2001 — Company opens new sales showroom and product development studio on 57th Street in New York.
— License agreement signed with Kate Spade New York.
2002 — Arthur Schwartz retires.
2003 — Danny Schwartz is named chairman of FFANY.
— Eli Footer retires.
2005 — Firm signs licensing deal with Juicy Couture.
— License for Kors by Michael Kors line begins.
2006 — Phyllis Footer is inducted into the FN Hall of Fame.
— Company launches the Daniblack label.
2007 — Danny Schwartz succeeds Arthur as CEO.
— Steve Shapiro is named president.
— Barbara Schwartz is named director of product development.
— Firm signs Diane von Furstenberg worldwide footwear license.
— Licensing agreement with Anne Klein ends.
— Phyllis Footer retires.
2009 — Company ends nine-year licensing partnership with Michael Kors.
— Seven for All Mankind inks licensing deal.
2011 — Danny Schwartz receives A.A. Bloom Award from Two Ten.
— Danny again becomes chairman of FFANY.
— Firm enters into a production agreement with Rebecca Minkoff.
2012 — Global licensing deal begins for the Derek Lam and 10 Crosby Derek Lam lines.
— Company receives the Footwear Company of the Year Award at the American Image Awards.
2013 — Firm celebrates 90th anniversary.