Handmade With Love In Croatia - Startas Sneakers. - Lakatwalk - a fashion and lifestyle blog.

Handmade With Love In Croatia - Startas Sneakers.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Startas Sneakers

Personally I will always be an advocate of slow fashion then mass produced poor quality items made by children or workers in third world countries who work in inhumane conditions and are paid peanuts for their hard work. 

I honestly believe you get this bad karma with mass produced products along with let's face it - poor quality which rarely lasts for more then one season which is not only bad for your valet but also for your style and the nature.  

For the past few years whenever I can I try to shop for clothes and accessory from small local designers or those who produce in their own countries and pay fair wages to their workers.


Unlike Keds, Vans and Superga which produce their sneakers in third world countries, Startas are made in the same factory in Vukovar, Croatia where they were born almost 40 years ago (1976). Over the years Startas became a cult phenomenon and an iconic symbol of Croatian culture. Startas were more than just sneakers, they represented a way of life. 


Photo: Marko Mihaljevic



Sadly, during the 1990s much of Vukovar and the Startas factory were destroyed during Croatia’s war for independence. Startas production was put on hold for years until the city and the factory could rebuild. It has taken some time, but Startas are back stronger then ever representing the resilience of Vukovar and Croatian unique cultural heritage.


Startas are a throwback to a time when sneakers, like most things, were made by people who mastered the subtleties of their craft. It still takes one hour— from start to finish—to create each pair of Startas, using only traditional techniques and vintage, manually operated equipment.


Startas were originally designed for table tennis players with flexibility, grip, and comfort in mind. Natural materials were purposely chosen because they did the job better and simpler. We continue to use premium natural, renewable materials, like canvas and natural gum rubber (yes, the kind of rubber that comes from a tree and not a lab) for our sneakers. 

Young designer who is accredited with fresh, young and chic print behind Startas sneakers and Boromina design sandals (which are another cool product of Borovo) is Iva Curkovic. Iva draws the print herself on the paper or on the computer for each new Startas design and finds her inspiration in nature in film and all that surrounds her.

Startas sneakers can now be purchased in more then 90 stores in Croatia, Singapore and Australia but also thanks to Robert and Michelle Grgurev on US market via Startas-USA webshop.

Pink Startas high top sneakers with unicorn print have been recently featured and recommended by Vogue US and are now available for preorder here.

Last Summer I also purchased my favorite Borovo shoes - Borosana's in pink & black lace.

A photo posted by Katarina Stimac (@lakatwalk) on

I am really hoping that the Borovo company will continue to grow and significantly improve their marketing, PR efforts and online shop in Europe as currently they are doing much better job with promoting the Startas brand in US then they are in Croatia or Europe in general.

Which model of Borovo shoes is your favorite?


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