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K-way at the beginning.
K-way is a French label, created in Paris in 1965, for unisex nylon raincoats and windbreakers, by the French pants manufacturer, Leon Claude Duhamel. The original name of the company was “en cas (de)” or “en-K” which means “in case (of)”, coming from the concept “in case it’s raining”, but quickly changed into K-way as official name, in 1966, to mark its international entry with 250.000 sales. At that time, K-way windbreakers were famous for their convenience as they could be folded in a banana pouch, thus, not bulky while useful for sudden weather changes. In 1968, the company became a family-run business after Leon Claude Duhamel’s sudden death. His son Léon-Claude, her daughter Jacotte with her husband Yves Moinet took over. Later in 1970, in order to promote the sales, K-way got associated with the French ski alpine team.
K-way’s success at its turning point.
Until 1992, K-way business was a success with a sale of 45 million windbreakers since its starting point. Unfortunately, that same year, K-way industry went on fire. Since that incident, the label has been purchased by consecutive Italian groups. Firstly by Pirelli, in 1992, but the turnover decreased from 500 million to 100 million due to competition with Asian labels, which led the Italian bank, Sopaf, to take possession of the label in 1996. In 2004, the label was once again purchased by Basic Net.
K-way’s come back.
After these bad experiences, K-way label itself decided to come back in France, in September 2013, and inaugurated therefore its first store in Paris, created its own website, but also projected to have 70 other new stores over France.