The story starts
In 1948 post-war Italy Marcello Danieli decided to create his own footwear company, after gathering experience working in the industry from a young age. After a long time of being unsuccessful and working on perfecting the brand’s image, Danieli and his wife finally released their first footwear collection, which featured mountain boots ideal for climbers or hikers. The mountain boots became popular very quickly. By the end of the 1950s, Diadora had gained a lot of recognition and were selling their boots all across Italy.
The success the footwear company had with mountain boots led Danieli on to pursue creating the right footwear for other kinds of sports, including skiing, tennis and running. By the time the 1970s came round, the demand for sportswear was booming. Danieli wanted to use the best quality possible for his footwear and relied on classic Italian craftmanship. Danieli liked to work with sports professionals too, in order to understand what needs they had and so he could create the perfect footwear to support professionals in the best way possible. One of the sports professionals Marcello Danieli was able to partner with was Bjorn Borg, a top tennis player in the 1970s who won Wimbledon five times in a row. Later Danieli released the “Borg Elite”, a soft leather tennis shoe that he had created for Borg. The release was very successful, and the white tennis shoe with gold vector branding became one of the biggest selling sneakers in the 80s, going on to appear in a number of colourways.
Meanwhile Diadora had gained recognition worldwide, due to the tennis shoe release. its shoes were being sold in America, as well as in the UK and other European countries. And the first-time customers who were buying shoes weren’t sports professionals. They just wanted a cool, quality sneaker to wear. The “Borg Elite” offered a European design with the ‘Made in Italy’ sign that customers still value.
These days Diadora is part of the Geox group, another Italian brand of shoes made with waterproof and breathable fabrics. The brand has fallen behind the footwear and apparel giants that took over in the 90s, like Nike and Adidas. Diadora was never too bothered about keeping up though, because they don’t see themselves as competitors with those two giants. The Italian brand’s values lie in sports and authenticity and let’s not forget, close to 70 years of history and finest Italian craftmanship. Diadora has also been recognized by the streetwear community for its iconic footwear designs that are kind of retro looking, something that has become appealing again in recent years.
Diadora has had quite a few collaborations, raising awareness for their brand and trying to win over new customers by experimenting with designs and different partners. One fun collaboration took place at the beginning of 2020. In February Diadora decided to collaborate with LC23 for a Pink Panther-inspired version of the Rebound Ace and Whizz Run – two classic silhouettes Diadora sneakers feature. The Pink Panther character became popular in the 60s through cartoons. The sneakers are constructed from suede and leather. Both models feature vibrant colours like pink and yellow, but also include aqua blue, fuchsia, navy and burnished red. The Pink Panther himself even makes an appearance on the Whizz Run model, peeking over the side of the sneaker. The sneaker collection was very successful and perfect for styling with any outfit, especially if the outfit itself is pretty casual. A fun shoe can really make a difference and act as an eye-catcher.
We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Diadora and can’t wait to try out a new pair of fun sneakers very soon.