Born Out of Scandinavian Weather


This year, the Swedish footwear company Tretorn celebrates its 50th Anniversary of the Nylite tennis shoe.  The same Scandinavian country that brought us safe cars, Hasselblad cameras  and ABBA has a signature shoe brand that’s been around 125 years.

Tretorn was founded by Johan Dunker in Helsingborg, Sweden, in 1891, setting the stage for one of the most enduring success stories born from the late industrial revolution. Tretorn’s past is important to what the brand is today, and like so many European inventions, its brilliance lies in its elegance and simplicity.

Born Out of Scandinavian Weather
Tretorn boots

While they’ve had many popular styles, the Nylite has been a staple for the company, and this year they are celebrating the shoe’s 50th anniversary. When Tretorn started making tennis shoes (for both men and women), it was all about clean silhouettes and functioning under pressure.

Born Out of Scandinavian Weather
Tretorn by Jason Artiensa

Instead of cake with 50 candles, Tretorn decided to partner with fifty unique artists, hand them over a blank pair of Nylite, and ask each to do their magic. Tretorn does it again: Making history with a legacy and a story.

The Nylite is the prime example of Tretorn modernizing an iconic sneaker, when the brand infused premium materials and added an EcoOrtholite insole to upgrade the model and create a new classic.

Born Out of Scandinavian Weather
Tretorn by Samara Shuter

One of the participating artists, Jayson Atienza, has drawn the distinct lines of the Nylite style. Other artists are Matthew Tapia, Ron Bass and Luciano Fontanez. You can read more here.

Born Out of Scandinavian Weather
Tretorn Viken rain boot

Tretorn’s  first products were however driven by functional needs: high-quality rubber galoshes primarily used by villagers, fishermen and the military. In the 70s they created the Nylite tennis shoe for avid tennis players, and claim they stand firmly, always with one rubber-clad foot, in these seemingly opposite worlds.

Born Out of Scandinavian Weather, written by Tor Kjolberg

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.