The History of Sebago loafers
The Sebago brand was born in Westbrook, Maine (USA), in 1946. Daniel J. Wellehan, owner of 5 shoe shops in the area, decided to found his own factory. From the partnership with two local shoe manufacturers – William Beaudoin and Joseph Cordeau – Sebago-Moc was born. The name is inspired by the nearby Lake Sebago, which in the Abenaki Indian language means "basin of water with an elongated shape". The same year the first moccasin was born, the famous penny loafer, hand-stitched according to the indigenous tradition, still one of the brand's best sellers today.
The first sailing shoe dates back to 1948. In 1950 Sebago reaches a turnover of 1 million dollars and, in 1952, the daily production rises to 2000 pairs of shoes: a new factory is built and the company begins to sell also in Europe In 1970, the Docksides sailing model was launched on the market, another best seller of the brand and 8 years after its release, Ted Turner, founder of CNN and a great sailing enthusiast, agreed to combine his image with that of the Docksides line.
In 1984 Sebago is the first American company to sponsor a boat in the O-Star Race. Other important sponsorships related to the world of sailing followed, including the Celebrity Regatta, the America's Cup, the Liberty Cup and that of the Young America team in the Louis Vuitton Cup 96/97. Throughout the 1980s Docksides were a trend in universities and high schools across the United States so much so that they were mentioned in the book The Official Preppy Handbook by Jonathan Roberts as the crucial element.
Towards the end of the 1990s, the company went through a period of crisis, which culminated in 2003 with the acquisition of Sebago by the American Wolverine World Wide, Inc. Only in 2017 did the brand enter the brand portfolio of the Italian group BasicNet, which today guarantees careful distribution in the best boutiques around the world.