Nine West was named for its founding location in the Solow Building at 9 West 57th Street in New York City. In 1983, Nine West opened its first specialty retail store in Stamford, Connecticut. In 1986, Nine West launched its first national ad campaign. Nine West first expanded internationally with the opening of a Hong Kong location in 1994. It has since become a brand located in over 800 global locations in 57 countries.
Initially founded as a fashion footwear brand, Nine West expanded into handbags, sunglasses, legwear, outerwear, jewelry, belts, watches, cold weather accessories, hats, scarves and wraps, and eyewear. After the launch of handbags in 1995, Nine West expanded to dresses, suits and kids footwear. Through licensing agreements, it also offers eyewear, sunglasses, legwear, outerwear, belts, hats, cold weather accessories, scarves and wraps.
In 1999, Nine West was acquired by Jones Apparel Group.
In 2006, Nine West began collaborating with Vivienne Westwood, Thakoon and Sophia Kokosalaki on limited edition "capsule collections". In 2009, Nine West and New Balance collaborated to develop a collection of footwear. Fred Allard served as Creative Director starting in 2006.
On July 7, 2015, the Canadian distributor and retailer of Nine West, the Sherson Group, filed for bankruptcy protection for the Canadian locations.