Est. 1972 - It all started out so classic-like.
With our very first shoe, the process began in our Danish warehouse, about 25 kilometers from the grand cathedrals, foot bridges, and cobblestone streets of historic Copenhagen. The hand presses, the vast swatches of canvas and leather, the molding machines with their buttons and plates, the iron steamers that vulcanize rubber and look ready to exude great droplets of mist and heat—they all come together to create the instruments of our own “Danish orchestra.” The sounds—the tightening of metal vices, the turning of sundry screws, and the grinding of gears—this is the music of productivity; it is the symphony responsible for the creation of the best sneaker, for the fastest sport, on behalf of some of the greatest athletes in world.
The sport is badminton, that classic English (by way of India) pastime—with courts made of oak, teak, maple, and birch; where tapered racquets and players’ graceful moves create a ballet of serves and volleys; where you’ll hear the sound of “Danish music” (the squeak and screech of rubber, along with a swoosh of air)—that requires a shoe as versatile as it is light, as strong as it is comfortable.
That shoe is the Backyard brand of sneakers, popularized throughout Europe by Erland Kops, the legendary Danish badminton player and winner of 11 titles from the All England Open Badminton Championships.
But—wait for it—then came a revolution.
This technical shoe became more than just athletic apparel; it transformed into a classic fashion accessory, a throwback to an era of cinematic glory and European royalty, of vinyl records and headbands, of prep schools and travel trunks, of fall in New England and sunrise in California; of a sneaker with an iconic grey suede patch, made to withstand the wear and tear of playing a genuine sport; during a time of Volkswagen buses, Mercedes convertibles, and trips to college—Colgate or Cornell, Harvard or Hampshire, Bard or Barnard; of the journey southward on Coldwater Canyon as the oversized letters of The Beverly Hills Hotel glowed with white luminescence on the approaching horizon.
Now, 44 years later, we’re still doing our thing.
Here are some product features that haven’t changed—and won’t:
- Millions of pairs sold in Europe to date
- Designed in Denmark, sourced and manufactured in Europe
- Made with natural materials and very eco-friendly
- Assembled at the same European factory for over 40 years
- From start to finish, 22 hands touch each pair
- No two pair are identical
- Toe patch design allows for comfortable maneuvering when sharp and quick stopping motions are part of the game
- The Copenhagen Collection (in black and white) was the original product design. (They can still be bought today!)
- Soles are vulcanized—a lost production art!
- Vulcanized means that the upper (the canvas) is literally melted to the sole (the rubber bottom)
- Benefits of vulcanized construction: amazing flexibility, sublime comfort, incredible durability
- Continuing to push the fashion trends by offering tens of thousands of cool canvas uppers
So, as you can tell, we’re pretty amped to introduce this sneaker to the US streets. As of spring 2016, it’s our new backyard.
Worn Through Decades.