For nearly a century, KIWI has been passionate about shoe care. Find out how KIWI became the number one shoe care brand in the world, from the early days in 1906 until today.
In 1906, William Ramsay had developed an unusually fine boot polish to which he gave the name ‘KIWI’. The choice of the name KIWI as a trademark was a tribute to William’s wife who was a native of New Zealand, home of the KIWI bird and New Zealand's national emblem. During Ramsay's visit to New Zealand he had noticed the quaint, wingless birds with their crisp, glossy plumage. The kiwi bird design looked good on the small round tin, and the name was easy to see and attractive to look at.
By 1924, KIWI polish was being sold in more than 50 countries.
Shoe styles in this post-war decade reflected the Jazz Age and were influenced by many trends and dances.
Also during the Second World War, KIWI Polish brought the millions of pairs of leather boots of the Allied Forces the best shine and protection.
Men's shoes kept the sporty feel of the 20’s, while shoe fashion for women became more varied and experimental. However, for much of the 1940s, shoe fashion was sober and dominated by a more practical mood during the Second World War.
By 1967, the KIWI brand become so big and its product range so diverse, that is was time to bring the KIWI companies under one worldwide banner: KIWI International.
The post-war look was diverse; the Italian stiletto heel came in for women. The elastic-sided Chelsea boots became extremely popular again in the early 60’s thanks to the Beatles.
KIWI became part of the multi-national Sara Lee Corporation in 1984.
Men and women enjoyed the flamboyant shoe styles of the 70's, inspired by the 'Glam Rock' pop stars of the day. In the 80’s, 'leisure' became fashionable. Shoes originally designed for sport were now worn for casual occasions.
Today KIWI is sold and marketed in almost 200 countries around the world. With several state-of-the-art new product innovations, KIWI remains the world’s number one shoe care brand.
In the 90’s and into the new millenium, casual and athletic shoes remain in fashion. Sandals for women grow in popularity.
Shoe trends emphasize both comfort and style.