American apparel and footwear company VF Corporation specializes in the design, manufacture, distribution, and marketing of iconic outdoor, active and workwear brands including Vans, The North Face, Timberland and Dickies.
American apparel and footwear company VF Corporation specializes in the design, manufacture, distribution, and marketing of iconic outdoor, active and workwear brands including Vans, The North Face, Timberland and Dickies. These brands cater to a wide range of consumers and have a strong presence in both the domestic and international markets.
Founded in 1899, VF Corporation has evolved over the decades to become one of the largest and most diversified apparel companies in the world, headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The company has an exciting history of successfully evolving with the changing climate. In October 1899, John Barbey and a group of investors established the company as ‘Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company’ in Reading, Pennsylvania. Incorporated later that year, the company expanded into silk lingerie in 1913 and was renamed ‘Schuylkill Silk Manufacturing’, branding its lingerie line as ‘Vanity Fair’. Shortly, the company changed its name again to Vanity Fair Mills, eventually going public in 1951.
Indeed, VF Corporation has the Midas touch. In 1969, H.D. Lee Company was acquired and Vanity Fair Mills changed its name yet again to VF Corporation. Acquiring Blue Bell Inc., for a reported sum of US$762 million in 1986, VF added Wrangler, JanSport, Rustler, Jantzen and Red Kap to its strong portfolio. In 1998, VF moved its headquarters from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania to Greensboro, North Carolina and shortly thereafter acquired Bulwark Apparel, The North Face, Eastpak, Kipling, Napapijri and Vans. And, sold its lingerie business to Fruit of the Loom for an estimated US$350 million in January 2007. That year, VF also acquired Eagle Creek, Majestic Athletic, Mankind and Lucy Activewear.
Eric C. Wiseman became President, CEO, and Chairman in 2008 and VF Corporation continued to successfully acquire a number of companies including Mo Industries Holdings and Timberland. This acquisition strategy paid off in spades as VF Corporation became renowned worldwide. VF Imagewear was awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to provide uniforms and insignia for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and for Transportation Security Administration. Effective 1 January 2017, Steve Rendle helmed the corporation as CEO and President and there was no looking back. VF acquired Williamson-Dickie’s brands including Dickies, Workrite, Kodiak, Terra, and Walls and then acquired Icebreaker and Supreme.
In September 2021, VF Corporation had approximately 50,000 employees and generated annual revenues of around $10 billion and continues to be a prominent player in the apparel industry, constantly striving to innovate and expand its brand portfolio while maintaining a commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility. VF Corporation’s business strategy also focuses on a “brand-centric, consumer-minded” approach, aiming to provide innovative and sustainable products that meet consumer demands while minimising its environmental impact. The company prioritises sustainability and has set ambitious goals to reduce its carbon emissions, waste, and water usage throughout its supply chain. All cotton purchased by VF Corporation is grown in the U.S., Australia or under a third-party cotton growing scheme that promotes environmental and/or social sustainability improvements and fifty per cent of polyester will come from recycled materials by 2026. In April 13, 2023 VF Corporation announced that several of its brands are releasing new collections that take advantage of regeneratively-sourced natural rubber, made possible through VF’s pilot program in Thailand with Terra Genesis.
In addition to its brand portfolio, VF Corporation operates through a strong global supply chain and distribution network and sells its products through various channels, including wholesale, retail stores, e-commerce, and licensing agreements. The company has a strong international presence today with operations in more than 170 countries worldwide.
‘Together, we collaborate and innovate to drive new growth. And to preserve the world, the people and environments it contains. So that future generations can do the same.’
To power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and our planet.
Benno Dorer, Interim President and CEO
Footwear, apparel and accessories
Altra Running; AND1 Lab; Dickies; Eastpak; JanSport; Icebreaker; Kipling; Napapijri; The North Face; SmartWool; Supreme; Timberland; Vans