History of Our Technology Development

“We strongly believe that elegance is a product of speed”DESCENTE is identified by its active commitment to creating products that make maximum use of the most advanced technologies and functions.

DESCENTE’s product development background runs parallel with a history of supplying high performance clothing to top athletes and sports teams. We constantly push the limits in product development, based on the concept of manufacturing products that enable top athletes to maximize their performance potential.
DESCENTE has continuously opened new chapters in sports history by developing sportswear with enhanced functions, higher quality, and more sophisticated design.


February 1935

Ishimoto Shoten, the predecessor of DESCENTE, was founded by Takeo Ishimoto.

1953: Cream-Colored Baseball Uniforms

DESCENTE successfully developed cream-colored baseball uniforms and training pants made from pre-shrunk cotton fabric with a wool-like finish. Capitalizing on a baseball boom, these items became hit products.

1957: RWSB

Based on advice from Japan’s first professional skier, Kazuyoshi Nishimura, DESCENTE launched the RWSB, a windbreaker jacket that was compact for carrying. The name RWSB (pronounced “rausbee”) is an acronym for “Rain-Wind-Snow-Break.”



The brand “DESCENTE” was launched.

February 1958

The company was reorganized to “Ishimoto Shoten Co., Ltd.” specializing in the manufacture and sales of sportswear.

1958, Ishimoto Shoten Co., Ltd.

1968: Single-Knit Uniforms

The Chunichi Dragons professional baseball team used DESCENTE’s new single-knit uniforms. In 1969, the double-knit version was developed, leading to the widespread adoption of uniforms made from knitted fabrics in place of woven materials. By the late 1970s, 11 of Japan’s 12 professional baseball teams wore DESCENTE uniforms.


September 1961

The company changed its name to DESCENTE LTD.


The “Munsingwear” brand was launched. (Trademark rights for Japan and other Asian countries obtained in 1984)

1973: Demo Pants

Traditionally, ski pants had been worn inside boots. DESCENTE developed an improved “over-the-boot” style, which combined superior performance and style to become a huge marketing success.

1979: Downhill Suit

During the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup season, DESCENTE’s “magic” Downhill Suit dominated the winners’ podium. The suit reduced air resistance to the lowest acceptable limits and caused a sensation by shaving up to two seconds off the winners’ times.



The “arena” brand was launched. (Trademark rights for Japan and other Asian countries obtained in 1990)

September 1978

The 1st DESCENTE Athletics Eight Nation Track & Field Championship, the first sports competition to be sponsored by DESCENTE, was held.

April 1979


1980: Speed Skating Suit Worn by Eric Heiden

At the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics, Eric Heiden (USA) wore a DESCENTE speed skating suit to win an unprecedented five gold medals. In addition to applying the aerodynamic cut of the “magic” Downhill Suit, the kick-off speed was enhanced by optimal compression.

1986: Cycling Wear Worn by Koichi Nakano

Professional keirin track cyclist Koichi Nakano won 10 consecutive professional sprint world championships from 1977 to 1986. The cycling wear used by Nakano combined downhill and speed skating suit technology.

1988: Solar α

Solar α technology meant outer garments could actively generate their own heat. The heat-storing textile, developed in partnership with Unitika Ltd., converted sunlight into heat to bolster thermal retention and was utilized in radical new ski wear.


March 1980

The company was listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


The “le coq sportif” brand was launched in Japan. (Trademark rights for Japan and other Asian countries obtained in 1990)

March 1985

The company had a pavilion based on the theme of “Health & Sports” at the International Exposition, Tsukuba, Japan, 1985.

1992: Strush SR

From racing yacht keel technology, DESCENTE launched Strush SR (Super Rectification) swimwear, featuring a silicone rubber surface covered in tiny riblets to reduce water flow resistance. It was the world’s first swimwear technology based on non-fiber material. At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics,The Japanese men’s swimming team wore“Strush SR”suites at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.


DIMPLEX was a breakthrough material developed for use in downhill and ski jump suits. It employed a dimpled surface to reduce air drag at high speed.

1999: Protective Vest for Flat Racing Jockeys

Developed for flat racing jockeys in collaboration with the Japan Racing Association (JRA), this product provides protection during a fall through shock absorption and at the same time is ultra light and cool with the use of a new 3D honeycomb mesh material.


April 1992

The JPGA “1st Descente Classic Munsingwear Cup” golf tournament,was launched. (ended in 2008)

January 1998

Construction of the new Tokyo Office building, located in Toshima-ku, Tokyo, was completed.


The “umbro” brand was launched in Japan. (Trade mark right for Japan obtained in 1998, for South Korea in 2013)

2002: Cocoon

For the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, the renowned costume designer Eiko Ishioka was invited by DESCENTE to create a dramatic collection of garments. One of these was the Cocoon coat, which helped the athletes to focus their concentration prior to a race.

2004: Aile Bleue

Arena’s Aile Bleue swimwear was launched. The design applies “biomimetics” to manufacturing to achieve smart performance based on principles derived from nature. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Ai Shibata won gold in the 800m women’s freestyle wearing Aile Bleue.

2004: Forest Ranger

DESCENTE developed the Forest Ranger line of protective gear for the forestry industry. The multi-layer textile structure and high-strength felt layer combine to reduce the severity of chainsaw injuries.


DESCENTE developed HEATNAVI as a heat-retaining thermal material efficiently absorbing sunlight and converting it to heat. It is used extensively and is an environmentally friendly fabric.

2008: Mizusawa Down

A down jacket line based on a non-quilting manufacturing process. The product uses materials that achieve superior water resistance and moisture permeability, thereby providing a high level of wearer comfort.


September 2000

The JLPGA , “Munsingwear Ladies Tokai Classic” golf tournament was launched. (has been held every year since 2000)

May 2005

Descente Health Management Research Center, specializing in providing preventive care services, was established.

August 2006

The first annual “Sports School for Healthy Kids” was held, with the aim of educating children about the pleasure of sports. (has been held every year since 2006)

2010: Energy Return

Energy Return is a unique performance enhancing technology developed by DESCENTE that utilizes the rebound effect of strategically placed bands in racewear fabrics to increase both power output and forward momentum. It has multiple applications across a wide range of sports.

2011: Sunscreen

DESCENTE developed its revolutionary Sunscreen?which prevents heat buildup within sportswear garments by efficiently reflecting the sun’s heat-transmitting infrared rays. The Sunscreen layer becomes a “parasol you wear” by blocking ultraviolet (UV) rays. It is particularly suited to golf and all other outdoor sports.


DESCENTE developed Deodash, a specialized sports deodorizing fabric. This material eliminates ammonia odor rapidly, which is caused by high volumes of perspiration generated over a short period during exercise.

2014: Unifit Pants

Developed “Unifit Pants”for baseball. With each leg a single piece of cloth and DESCENTE's unique three-dimensional construction they have fewer seams for greater freedom of movement.
*Patent acquired for single-piece three-dimensional structure for each leg of a pair of pants (Patent No. 5651213).

2015 Water Slider

Developed the "Water Slider," a new tape that controls the flow of water drops down clothing. The strategically placed hydrophilic tape attracts and guides water to reduce rainy day discomfort.


March 2012

Construction of the new Osaka Office building, located in Tennoji-ku, Osaka City, was completed.


The “SKINS” brand was launched in Japan.(Trademark rights for Japan and other Asian countries obtained in 2012)

July 2015

DESCENTE LTD. was awarded the J∞Quality certification for products made in Japan.

August 2015

Acquired the Inov-8 Group.

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