Our story began back in 1893 when Elmer Little & Sons, a family run company located in a small upstate New York town called Gloversville, began specializing in upscale dress and casual glove production.
Meanwhile, Swany Corporation in 1980 created Swany America. They did this to better serve its US customers and to launch a new glove called Freezy Freakies.
Freezy Freakies changed colors in the cold and for a decade were the most popular children’s glove in the USA.
As this story goes, Swany America acquired Elmer Little & Sons in 1987. Bill Dzierson, the owner and descended of Elmer Little joined the Swany family. Bill was an avid skier and saw a need for a warmer and more durable ski glove.
In 1990, the Swany Ski Division was formed. Bill only wanted to make the best ski gloves. He found that skiers were willing to pay more for a warmer more durable ski glove.
In 1990 we decided to make the best ski gloves in the world. Our gloves were double the cost of our competitor’s gloves. Did the world beat a path to our door, like the proverbial “better mousetrap?” I think not. First you need to establish credibility with the skiers and the retailers.
Next, we wanted our gloves on the hands of the pros on the slopes, so in 1991 we signed agreements with the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and the National Ski Patrol to supply gloves. The pros were on the slopes all day / every day and they wanted good gloves.
So our gloves were getting on the mountain, but no one knew who we were. We needed to make a splash. But how? Well, there was this new skiing event; Speed Skiing.
These crazy skiers wanted to go straight down the mountain and have a radar gun clock how fast they were going. In 1992, we signed an agreement to sponsor, supply gloves and suits for the US, Canadian, British and Swiss teams.
Speed skiing was a “demonstration” event at Les Arc during the 1994 Albertville Olympics. A world speed record was set at 138 miles per hour. The suits and gloves said Swany.
Also in 1992, we signed a licensing deal to use the Flexor name and construction for sport gloves. Flexor was developed for the space program with finger mobility joints for better dexterity.
We made leather Flexor gloves that retailed for a whopping price of $90 a pair. This glove became one of the most popular gloves in the country for its warmth and finger dexterity. Now we were on our way.
We followed the Flexor with the Toaster Mitt. Wow! Toasters are still one of the most popular mitts in the ski industry. Toasters – warmth of a mitt with the dexterity of a glove.
Toasters have finger free access for the inner glove that allows you to use your phone without exposing your fingers to the cold.
What a concept to be able to make a phone call in the cold while keeping your hands warm. Most snow sports enthusiast know who Swany is now. We have been making great quality, warm gloves for years now. We will continue to use the best materials and technologies in our gloves.
Swany’s growth has been driven by innovation and the desire to make the best ski gloves. The introduction of glove categories that did not exist before (Flexor, Toaster Mitts) gave the retailers a reason to carry the more expensive Swany gloves. With the start of the new millennium, Swany introduced a glove category that rocketed Swany to the top. In 2000, Swany introduced the crossover gloves.
The Sports Utility Crossover Gloves has everything for snowboarders, skiers or mountaineers. Durable rolled finger construction prevents blowouts. Comfortable barrel lock cuff keeps hands warm and prevents powder from seeping in.
The original gloves used a Super Drymax back with a reinforced leather palm. The Articulated fingers provided increased comfort with less stress when handling boards and bindings. On the back, we had a unique ventilating system that provides cooling during high aerobic activity. On cool days, it can be the space for a heat pack.
The SX-1 – Utility Crossover Glove created a new category of gloves. We knew it was a good glove, but we did not realize the impact it would have on the ski industry. The first decade of Swany Ski, we were primarily a Rocky Mountain brand.
The serious skiers who ski 60-100 times per year were willing to pay more money for more durable Swany gloves. The introduction of the Sport Utility gloves made Swany a national Brand.
Innovation is the key to Swany’s success. Whether it is the Aerodyne palms on our Swany Black series. (Aerodyne palm construction, designed and crafted by Swany to fit your hand the most natural way possible. Aerodyne construction enhances your grip with less stress points for improved comfort and durability). Or our LaFemme category of gloves (women specific fit gloves). We are constantly trying to improve your snow sports experience by making good fitting, durable, and comfortable gloves.
It’s been over 25 years since the production of our first sport glove and we still love our job – combining the latest textile technologies with the mind blowing glove designs that really work. It’s easy to see our passion for the outdoors through our innovative styles – we create lightweight, functional stylish, and most importantly – warm comfortable gloves.
With offices around the globe and have a presence in thousands of retail stores, our small company culture keeps us focused on what’s important – producing the highest quality glove on the market.