The Sebago story - the early years of Sebago shoes

The Sebago name is now synonymous with quality hand-stitched footwear but its origins stem from the early 20th century.

Compared with the classic English brands such as Loake, Church, Tricker’s, Sanders and Crockett & Jones, whose origins stem from the middle of the nineteenth century, Sebago shoes are the new kid on the block.  It wasn’t until 1946 when David, J. Wellehan Senior, Joseph Cordeau and William Beaudoin founded The Sebago-Moc Company.  They based the design of their hand-sewn penny loafer on the native American indian moccasin.  Their unique welt construction boat shoe immediately began to prove a huge success with the sailing fraternity.
Within a dozen years sales had reached a million dollars annually.  During these early years the bulk of production was in supplying private labelled footwear but the branded range was taking off with large retailers such as Montgomery Ward and Sears in the US.  Inevitably with demand rising rapidly larger production facilities were soon needed.  A new production facility was opened in 1952 in Maine, capable of producing 2,000 pairs a day.  By 1954 Sebago-Moc had manufactured its 1,000,000th pair.
During the successful 1950’s Sebago-Moc had been purely supplying the domestic US market with footwear.  It wasn’t until the 1960’s when the brand went truly international.  Starting in Europe the latest range, including a new collection for women, was unveiled at the Semaine du Cuir international exhibition in Paris to huge approval.  Soon afterwards a new production facility was opened in Maine to cater for demand for women’s Sebago shoes.

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