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Sneaker Feature: Tretorn Shoes

July 7th - By Dylan Bodkin

The Tretorn Bostad XAB, part of André 3000’s footwear lineup.

Founded in 1891 as Helsingborgs Gummifabrik AB, Tretorn is a Swedish manufacturer known for its preppy style and sophisticated lineup inspired by tennis fashion. The company first made waves in 1967 with the introduction of the Nylite. 

The Nylite; the canvas sneaker with the clean prep aesthetic.

The sneaker began something within Tretorn. A certain feeling began to follow the shoes around: “Wherever you were, Tretorns somehow made you look like you owned the place,” says David Hochman in Forbes. And he’s right; the combination of celebrity endorsement (everyone from Farrah Fawcett to Bjorn Borg) and spotless aesthetic made anyone who threw on some Tretorns seem effortlessly in control.

The Adidas Stan Smith has led recent revival of court shoes. After a relaunch in 2014 that saw the 70s classic hit the feet of celebrities like A$AP Rocky and Alexander Wang, 8 million pairs were sold in 2015. The shoe has blown up like crazy, but it’s starting to feel tired when every model I follow wears nothing but Stan Smiths.

Tretorn, too, was feeling tired. The success of the 70s and 80s had faded, and the new generation of sneakerheads couldn’t relate to the brand. The history is cool, but no one born after 1990 was going to be excited by a sneaker endorsed by Brooke Shields and Billy Joel.

Billy Joel sports a pair of grimy Tretorns on the cover of 1978’s 52nd Street.

Enter Andr
é 3000. Famous as part of Outkast and for his solo work, the Atlanta rapper has loved Tretorns since way back. “Growing up, we’d all put our personal stamp onto the blank canvas of the Nylite and I’d sketch out my own designs,” he says in Highsnobiety. So in 2017 when Tretorn partnered with 50 artists to design 50 custom Nylites in honour of the sneaker’s 50th anniversary, André 3000 was a no brainer. Not only that, but in February of that year he was named Tretorn’s creative director.

André 3000 on the cover of Tretorn’s Fall 2017 Lookbook.

Into a market hungry for new court style, Tretorn dropped André 3000’s “Benjamin” line. With remixes of Tretorn classics, along with brand new silhouettes, this lineup is stacked.

The new Nylite XAB

Nylite Hi XAB.

The Benjamin line speaks for itself. Tretorn has gone in a bold new direction that’s sure to convert some of these Adidas models.  Check out the line here:  Looking for some vintage Tretorns? You’re in luck. Here at Filthy classic Nylites and other Tretorns come through all the time, so come have a look! In the meantime, I’ll be impatiently waiting for Tretorn’s new drop with André 3000.


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