Hush Puppies is an American internationally marketed brand of contemporary, casual footwear for men, women and children. The shoes have been described as "the classic American brushed-suede shoes with the lightweight crepe sole". A division of Wolverine World Wide,headquartered in Rockford, Michigan. Wolverine markets and completely licenses the Hush Puppies name for footwear in over 120 countries throughout the world. The Hush Puppies brand was founded in 1958 following extensive work by Wolverine to develop a practical method of pigskin tanning for the US military. (Pigskin is considered one of the most durable leathers and the government was interested in its use in gloves and other protective materials for soldiers.)
According to The Tipping Point by journalist Malcolm Gladwell, in 1994 when sales of were down to 30,000 pairs a year, Hush Puppies suddenly became “hip” in the clubs and bars of downtown Manhattan where young people were “buying them up” at small shoe stores. In the fall of 1995, fashion designers John Bartlett, Anna Sui, and Joel Fitzpatrick began featuring them in their collections. Depending on word of mouth, Wolverine sold 430,000 pairs of the shoes, and four times that the following year. It won the prize for best accessory at the Council of Fashion Designers awards dinner in 1996.