Drake General Store x Bata Heritage

Posted by Caroline Rolf , April 12, 2017
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It’s been a long time coming for Bata shoes. For more than 12 decades (that's right, 120 years!), the award-winning brand has been on the leading edge of footwear design, providing more than 70 countries across the globe with sustainable shoes to suit a variety of terrains and lifestyles. Canadians were able to get a pair for years after Bata opened its headquarters in Eastern Ontario in 1939, but the early 2000’s saw the global footwear manufacturer closing its last doors. Where would we find an affordable pair of quality kicks in The Great White North?

Well the wait is over, shoe lovers. Bata is making a triumphant return to Canada, just in time for the country’s 150th birthday.

Charles Pignal, the Group Heritage Director for Bata boasts about the brand’s excitement to help Canada celebrate it’s 150th. “There’s so much to be proud of in Canada right now,” says Pignal, and we could not agree more! It’s easy to tell why the iconic shoe company would partner with a unique Canadian retailer like the Drake General Store for their new +collaboration series. With a common passion for authenticity and a desire to stand out, it really is a perfect match.

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Why choose the “Bata Bullet” for Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration? “We just felt it was a product that really illustrated Bata’s history and values,” says Pignal, “so much of which is tightly connected with its long heritage in Canada.”

Bata Bullets are a Bata Shoe heritage sporting brand that was originally manufactured in 1964 at the Bata factory in Belcamp, Maryland, USA. The Baltimore basketball club would eventually name their team after the famous athletic shoe. The current project will see that Bata Bullets maintain the classic silhouette with the quality and finish you’d expect. Pignal adds that the new design is very faithful, yet somehow updated to be a little more comfortable and snug. The twist? Alongside several classic Bata Heritage shoe styles, 200 pairs of the popular sneaker will feature the Drake General Store’s signature cross logo.

In celebration of this epic collaboration, the Drake General Store is hosting a pop-up, shop-in-shop, from April 19 to May 14 at the flagship on Queen Street West in Toronto. This is a chance for Bata fans and shoe fanatics to get their hands on the limited-edition sneaker, as well as other exclusive footwear styles from global brand. Drake General Store isn't one to leave you hanging; also launching that day is their +collaboration with local men’s beachwear company Bather to complete your summer aesthetic w/ men’s swim trunks and five-panel caps.

What does Bata have planned for its Canadian comeback past 2017? Pignal says the company is looking to grow in the right way with the right partners in order to ensure the right foundation for future business. After all, he playfully adds, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”

The Bata Heritage shop-in-shop will take place at The Drake General Store, 1151 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON. From April 19 to May 14, 2017. Early birds get 20% off at our launch party on April 19 @ 8-10PM! Show off your new kicks and get ready to tap your toes to tunes by Nino Brown.

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All photos by Louisa Nicolaou

Posted in: Drake General Store

Tags: Canada 150  +collaboration  Drake General Store  Fashion