The quirky Komradsneakers with Sovjetverleden are, slowly but surely, a subtle rise. For their most recent campaign chose to the label for three Belgian photographers who each have their own interpretation of the shoe in their atmosphere, like.
There are shoes that age mark and a certain spirit carry with them. The 5210 CEBO -or foempie – was such a shoe.
The sneaker was made in the fifties by the East-European factory Czech Boots (CeBo) was developed as a response to the popular Converse All Stars, that symbol stood for capitalist America. The Soviets wanted their own “sneaker for the people” and the 5210 was born. Not only Eastern Europe fell as a block for this canvas sneaker, in the eighties and nineties was the “foempie” and we also become a fixed value.
The resuscitation of a cult classic
Even though every self-proclaimed scenekid a Cebo at his feet had stopped in the Czech Boots in 2009 with the production to focus exclusively on the manufacture of werkmanschoenen and rain boots. A great loss for the sneakerwereld, and were it not for two brave Belgians was then, this cult classic no more disappear from the streets.
Knack Weekend knew Content Cowboy Mark Vandevelde to tie for an interview.
“I’ve always been a fan of the CEBO’s; it was my ultimate festivalschoen”, said Mark Vandevelde. “In 2010, I worked for MTV I had 100 white shoes need for an action and I immediately thought of the foempies. The Belgian importer knew me, however, to tell that the production already a while ago was permanently shut down. I was amazed! Such an iconic shoe, that was just not disappear I found.”
Craftsmanship and quality
Vandevelde added deed to word and wonder, and contacted the former factory in izan, where he made the original molds has been able to obtain for themselves the production of this sneaker to breathe new life into. “We thought frankly that something simpler would go,” laughs Vandevelde.
“But the 5210 was a model that survived on craftsmanship and quality, that is not just a machine, and a productieband back into the wall outlet. That red sole is for example, completely separately and poured from a copper kettle full of red pasta, particularly impressive. Moreover, had the shoe in the course of the years, some of its original quality lost. Since we use the 5210 is really in honor wanted to restore, we wanted to also that quality enhancement through the use of solid hard canvas and a thick rubber sole.”
Vandevelde managed to get the shoe to resuscitate, and gave him a second home under the name Komrad. He remained true to the original colorway of black and white and red, but gave some versions also include an update by playing with the colors green and blue. Today, there are also other models and colorways available in the Komrad-range.
A recognizable product
Belgium slowly but surely tack – you spot the Komrads at the feet of the musicians of Sir Yes Sir and dEUS – but abroad as they are at all. Thus, the Komrads in New Zealand boutiques in addition to designs of Stella McCartney! Still want the Komrad Invasion the world not through mass production to take over. “That’s just not what we stand for,” explains Vandevelde. “We want the market to flood, we just want to gradually grow and show people that the Komrad a solid and honest product.”
A market strategy that her fruit would be able to pay off. The day of today, the fashion industry, after all, under heavy pressure, and she wrestles with the difficult straddle between the rising demand for premium products on the one hand, and the devaluation of the logo on the other. Only high-quality products with a distinctive design stemming workmanship to survive such a balancing act and Komrad owns already the whole package. The recognizable red sole, the black-and-white canvas and the improved production method makes this shoe again a winner.
“We wanted that authenticity of the original 5210 will not lose”, says Vandevelde. “It is a shoe with a lot of character and a story. We bring over Komrad that story back to the 21st century and add our own interpretation to it by, for example, the originals have to accompany some colour blocking modelletjes. Also for the winter we have a lot of ideas and who knows what the future brings.”
Where the CEBO 5210 was the answer to the Converse sneaker of the capitalist Americans is the Komrad without more the answer to the consumer society of today: a solid shoe, a rich history, a reliable production and a penalty design; these values are long, very long time. (KS)
With the acquisition of CEBO 5210 found Vandevelde with a whole catalogue with all sorts of Soviet-retrosneakers. Attached are the three hi-top models izan, his brother, in Belgrade, and Stalingrad, and also the lower basketschoen Lenin shot today to purchase. For the campaign of 2016 chose Komrad also with three different Belgian photographers in the sea to go, each with their own vision on the sneaker in their images processed to have the versatility to stress.
The Komrads are on sale via the webshop and in selected outlets.