Startas

I am writing an article about Startas, tennis shoes worn by everyone who grew up in Yugoslavia. They were white and affordable to everybody. Together with our blue school uniforms, they were a part of the socialist ideology of equality for all. Nobody had much, or different for that matter of fact, but everybody had what they needed. When we wanted to be different, we had to use our own creativity.

The shoes used to be produced in Vukovar, the city that was totally ruined by the Serbian army in the attack on Croatia in early 1990s. The production started in 1976, in a factory that employed 22,000 people. 5 millions of pairs used to be produced a year.

And now M.Massarotto, a Croatian designer who used to work for Gucci and Custo Barcelona, decided to re-launch the famous shoes. He created 16 cool models, with prices varying from €28-70. And I was thinking about what a brilliant symbol those shoes are for the transition from one socio-political system to the other. All it takes you now to be different is money. And the more money, the coolest your “difference”. You don’t need to waste your time inventing and creating anymore. All you need to do now is – pay.

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