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The 50 Greatest Menswear Brands of All Time Bass Weejuns beefroll penny loafers.

20. G.H. Bass & Co.

Founder: George Henry Bass
Year Founded: 1876

G.H. Bass & Co. has one, but important, contribution: introducing the penny loafer. The origins of the penny loafer reach back to Norway, where Norwegian farmers made, wore, and sold their moccasin-style shoe to British sportsman, who in turn brought them back to the UK. Soon, Norway started exporting them to the rest of Europe, which is where G.H. Bass picked it up. They then designed their version with a distinctive leather strap and diamond cutout, and introduced it to the American market as "the Weejun," an acknowledgement of the shoes' derivation. Esquire soon talked about it, and not long after, the penny loafer became the sine non-qua shoe for the post-war "Ivy Look." It continues to be an American classic.

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