totes ISOTONER Canada, Limited, located in the Greater Toronto Area of Mississauga, is the Canadian division of totes ISOTONER Corporation, the world's largest marketer of umbrellas, gloves, rainwear, and other weather related accessories.
In 1997, totes and ISOTONER merged to form the totes ISOTONER Corporation, and respective brands Acorn and Manzella were acquired in 2010 and 2011. Today, totes ISOTONER Corporation is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company employs over 1,000 people worldwide among the Cincinnati, New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Manila offices.
The totes Story
In 1924, the company was founded in Oakley, Ohio, a small suburb of Cincinnati. The plant was moved to Loveland, Ohio in 1942 where the very first totes rubber rain boots were manufactured. These rubber rain boots, called "totes" to emphasize how portable and easy-to-carry they were, eventually became the company's most popular product.
In 1961, Brad Phillips, a Chicago businessman, bought the company and changed the name to totes, Incorporated. In 1970, totes introduced the first easy to fold collapsible umbrella in the United States and it quickly became a hit. In the 1970s, in addition to the folding rain umbrella, many products were introduced under the totes name, including totes rain scarves, rainwear, hats, expanding bags, and slipper socks.
1985 brought the development of the Chromatics program, a line of weather products targeted to the supermarket, drugstore, and mass merchandiser trade classes. About this time totes established offices in New York, Toronto, the United Kingdom, France and Asia.
In 1997, totes and ISOTONER merged to form the totes ISOTONER Corporation.
The isotoner Story
isotoner's story begins in 1910 with the founding of the Aris Glove Company, a European maker of fine leather gloves and knit accessories. After making its way to the United States, Aris would create the glove that would become its namesake and an icon would be born.
In the early 1970s, Aris created a glove unlike any other made from a nylon/spandex fabric with leather trim. Recognizing the glove's unique 4-way stretch and massaging properties, Aris named the glove isotoner by combining the words "isometric" and "toning." The isotoner glove was a major success with a name so recognizable that Aris adopted it and became ARIS isotoner, Inc. Following the success of isotoner women's gloves, isotoner men's gloves and slippers quickly followed.
In 1997, totes and ISOTONER merged to form the totes ISOTONER Corporation.
The Acorn Story
It started with a man in Maine who loved to make his friends comfortable. So one day in 1976, he went down to his workshop and hand-stitched something special. Something that was part slipper, part sock, and all comfort. Just like that, the iconic Acorn slipper sock was born.
Since then, we've made a lot more footwear for a lot more people, in all kinds of styles, for all sorts of uses. But no matter what we create, the reason why we create it will never change. We still do it to make our friends comfortable.
Comfort is at the heart of what we do, and always has been. We want you to find long-lasting comfort in every stitch, every pattern, and every detail. Because at Acorn, this is our promise-for everything we make to feel wonderfully, totally, perfectly, comfortably you.
1973 - David Quinn stitches leather to the bottom of a wool sock for Christmas presents in Fayatte, Maine. The Slipper Sock is born.
1974 - Quinn starts making Slipper Sock prototypes at Falcon Shoe in Lewiston, Maine to show to companies such as L.L. Bean and Eddie Bauer. While there are other slipper socks in the market, his stands out because he sewed super comfy, now legendary, foam into the insole.
1976 - The first pairs are sold to Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine. Acorn is now a true brand.
Later that year, Quin opens Acorn's offical offices and production in the Roy Continental Mill in Lewiston, Maine, joining 19 other shoe factories that kept the city alive.
1982 - Quinn is watching coverage of a NASA space shuttle mission and is shocked to see astronauts wearing his Slipper Socks! Since then, Slipper Socks have become standard issue for astronauts on their space missions. Acorn is catapulted into national spotlight.
1992 - Acorn is the first to introduce custom fleece print designs and starts a colorful trend with the fleece sock business.
2000 - Acorn introduces the first indoor/outdoor slippers.
2004 - Acorn introduces its own line of shoes for aprés sport and causal weekend wear.
2012 - Acorn repurposes another old mill space into beautiful creative offices in the Fort Andross Mill in Brunswick, Maine.
2013 - Design house Nicholas K features the Slipper Sock on the runway during the 2013 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City.
Slipper Sock sales are doubled as the result of resurgence in demand of tried and true heritage items. After 37 years with Acorn, David Quinn retires. Acorn continues to retain his ethos of quality, craft, and comfort.
The Manzella Story
With over 30 years of experience, Manzella designs products specifically for active individuals in varying outdoor conditions. We design and produce gloves and headwear for targeted categories within the sports, recreational and the uniform/career apparel markets. Our goal is to create and market great product for outdoor enthusiasts at competitive prices and to provide maximum returns for our retail partners with exceptional value for our consumers.
1982 - Company founded by Tony Manzella. Manzella produces first seamless knit gloves featuring exclusive "Control Dot" grip patterns for sport, recreational and promotional markets. Throughout the 1980's the Company creates gloves sold under private label for football, running and general outdoor use. Customers include Nike, Asics, Saucony, Hind, Frank Shorter, Pearl Izumi, Saranac Glove, Champion Glove, Ridell, Remington Arms, Wigwam, Helly Hansen, Specialized Bicycle, Reebok and many more.
1990's - Manzella expands in outdoor and enters the ski marketplace. Company opens a production facility outside Gloversville, NY and begins producing fleece gloves and accessories under the Manzella label. Retailers carrying Manzella products expand dramatically. The "Manzella Z System" line of gloves is introduced, creating differentiation in the growing outdoor marketplace.
2000's - Competition in cold weather accessories grows as apparel and outerwear brands enter the category. Manzella creates a glove categorization system using "Warm/Warmer/Warmest" rating that combines activity level and conditions allowing shoppers to select the right glove for their needs quickly and with confidence. Company successfully launches a line of hunting gloves and expands its presence in the uniform marketplace.
2011 - Manzella is acquired by totes isotoner.
The Pistil Story
In 2003, a small team of friends with years in the outdoor industry launched Pistil to bring focus and sophistication to the often-overlooked, yet essential, accessories category. Inspired by the creativity and energy of its Hood River home in the Pacific Northwest, pistil creates aesthetically vibrant accessories for the active lifestyle focused on fuction with a fashionable urban twist. Products include a variety of high quality hats caps visors, beanies, headbands scarves, headwear, and bags. All Pistil products are playful yet refined, and thoughtfully designed to make you feel good and complement your day wherever you are; whether it's the beach, mountain, work, or anywhere in between.
In Spring 2017, totes ISOTONER Canada forged a partnership with Pistil to distribute products throughout the Canadian market.