Category Archives: Press

Vans x Horween

A huge thanks to Vans for taking the time to visit us and for putting together a great collection.


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July 25, 2012 · 10:00 pm

Made in the USA


There’s been a good string of videos released lately.  Greg has been hands on through the whole process – I think the shoes look great.

Happy 4th a few days early.

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The State of the Market

Since 1905 it has been our mission, and our passion, to produce leather of the finest quality possible.  This is a commitment that we put into practice in our operations on a daily basis.

Just when it seemed as though we had seen it all in the leather industry, a new challenge has presented itself.  Hide prices have now reached historical highs.  Admittedly, this is not a good situation for anyone. While we have all managed to move beyond the troubled economy of a few years ago and started to see encouraging signs of recovery, this is the type of obstacle that can potentially derail those efforts.

The challenge is that people expect fixed price commitments, and we respect and understand that.  Hides represent the single largest component in the cost of a piece of finished leather.  The reality is that with hide price increases of this magnitude there must also be movements in leather prices to reflect these changes. Accordingly, leather orders that are not covered by existing blanket orders will be priced at the date of the sale to reflect the present days market. It is our fondest hope that the market will regain some sanity.  As hide prices come down, as they most certainly will, we will gladly deliver the good news about price decreases on our finished leather.

All of us here at Horween welcome the opportunity to discuss this, and we will continue to make it our commitment to work together to find solutions that are mutually acceptable.

Best Regards,

Horween Leather Company

Office : 773-772-2026

Click here for some additional reading from MarketWatch


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Feature – Sense Magazine

From the latest issue of SENSE Magazine“The Text in Visvim: Part 2 – Focused on Horween Leather”

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Horween on Chicago Public Radio

From July 30, 2003. Hear Skip, Otis and Joe here.

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“The Last Tanner of Cordovan”

As featured in BusinessWeek. Read it here.

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Chicago, Ill.— Horween Leather Company President Arnold “Skip” Horween III believes that it takes trained eyes, skilled hands and a commitment to doing the right thing to be successful in the leather tanning business—qualities he shares with his predecessors, all Horweens and all committed to making the best leather in the world.

Horween Leather was founded in 1905 by Isadore Horween, great-grandfather of the current president. Four generations of Horweens have overseen the evolution of the tannery into its current status as one of the premiere tanners in this country and abroad. Skip Horween was named president of Horween Leather in 2002, but has worked and learned about every aspect of the business since he was a teenager growing up on the north side of Chicago.

Horween graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in economics and archeology and went on to get his Masters of Business Administration from Northwestern University. While going to school, he remained involved in the family business and was named treasurer of the company beginning in 1985, becoming vice president of Horween Leather in 1995.


Like those before him, Skip Horween understands the importance of maintaining the company’s legacy of producing the best leather worldwide.

“Making the best means doing lots of little things right,” states Horween. “We’ve never mistaken fastest or cheapest with best, and we continue to use formulas that cut no corners using the highest quality components in all of our products.”

Horween Leather is the last supplier in North America of the cordovan leather that has made the tannery renowned both nationally and internationally, maintaining the strong sense of tradition by continuing to run this product with the formulas and procedures established by the founder when the company was started. In addition, Horween has provided all of the leather for Wilson’s Official NFL footballs since the 1950’s, having developed the trademarked Tanned in Tack® tanning process.

Each generation of Horween presidents learned the tanning business from the ground up and recognized that what Isadore Horween had built required not only a good business sense, but a commitment to quality and to hard work.

“Our actions are governed by preceding generations and each generation has set the bar very high,” Horween explains. “We’ve never learned how good is good enough and have always believed that a good reputation is hard to earn and easy to lose.”

As president, Horween’s official role is to oversee the continued growth of the company; however, Horween also plays an active role in the coordination of activities between sales, marketing and production, and provides all of his employees with the tools

and skills needed to do their best quality work. Horween recently finalized the acquisition of Dominion Tanners of Canada, which allows Horween Leather to expand into production of the Canadian company’s full line of shoe, boot and specialty leathers.

Horween lives in Barrington, Illinois with his wife Laura Kelly Horween and two children.

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