Keds is an American brand of canvas shoes with rubber soles. Founded in 1916, the company is owned by Wolverine World Wide. The original shoe design, the Champion, was the first mass-marketed canvas-top “sneaker.”
The shoes have been featured in television and film including Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell, Stephanie and D.J. on Full House, Lucy Camden on 7th Heaven, Becca Thatcher on Life Goes On, and Frances “Baby” Houseman in Dirty Dancing.
The shoes have been worn by celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Katharine Hepburn, Paul Newman, Betty White, Humphrey Bogart, Ariana Grande, and Taylor Swift.
Keds has produced collaborative collections with companies including Kate Spade New York, Madewell, Opening Ceremony, Steven Alan and Alice + Olivia. In 2009, Keds launched a collaboration with Loomstate which was sold at Barneys. The shoes were made with organic cotton, recycled rubber and non-toxic inks and dyes.
Keds are mentioned in the Wheatus song Teenage Dirtbag. The girl sung about wears them.
Keds celebrated its centennial in 2016 and the continuation of its “Ladies First Since 1916” campaign with a birthday celebration held during New York Fashion Week. To mark the occasion, Keds launched Keds Collective, a campaign to feature inspirational women following the 2015 Ladies First campaign. Some of the women featured were bloggers such as Chriselle Lim. Allison Williams joined the campaign as creative director and star of the brands video shorts, titled “Woman’s Touch” and “Uncharted Territories.” The campaign, which included a collaborative shoe design with Ciara, introduced the Keds Custom Studio which allows customers to create their own shoe designs on the Keds website. The company also announced that its shoe manufacturing was moving to Michigan, in the U.S. for the first time in 35 years.
In March 2017, Keds partnered with Rifle Paper Co. to launch a collection of shoes featuring the brand’s floral illustrations.