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Croatia’s oldest shoe manufacturer Borovo in Vukovar celebrates 90 years

Croatia’s oldest shoe manufacturer Borovo turns 90 years old today

(Photo: Borovo)

VUKOVAR, 7 June 2021 – Croatia’s oldest shoe manufacturer turns 90 today.

Established on 7 June in 1931 in Vukovar, Borovo has enjoyed a fantastic journey of ups and downs over the past nine decades and built its brand through its range of modern, urban, sporting and certified safety and working footwear.

The company’s golden period was from the late 1940s until the late 1980s when there were 22,000 employees manufacturing over 22 million pairs of shoes a year. 

To compare, today Borovo has 600 employees, of which 400 are based in the Vukovar factory and 200 in 74 outlets around Croatia. They sell over a 400,000 pairs of shoes a year today. 

Borovo’s most popular brands include Startas, Boromina, Borosana, Rubber and My Ballerinas. 

Croatia’s oldest shoe manufacturer Borovo turns 90 years old today

Startas (Photo: Borovo)

Startas, which originated in 1976, came back to life again recently and, even gaining the attention of Vogue and the New York Times.

“Today, its retro, natural-cotton-and-gum-rubber sneakers are still handcrafted in the same (albeit now bullet-scarred) factory. Colourfully adorned with emblems such as unicorns and licitar hearts, the Croatian folk design traditionally used to decorate holiday cookies, they’re both a playful reminder of sweet youth and a symbol of the city’s undying endeavor to bounce back,” The New York Times wrote at the time. 

Borosana, the iconic footwear of the working class women, celebrated their 50th birthday a few years ago. 

Croatia’s oldest shoe manufacturer Borovo turns 90 years old today

Borosana (Photo: Borovo)

Back in 2018, Borovo produced a limited series of ‘Zenge’ boots, which were worn by soldiers when they defended Vukovar in the early 1990s during the Homeland War after requests from Germany, Australia, Canada, and USA.

Croatia’s oldest shoe manufacturer Borovo turns 90 years old today

Borovo’s ‘Zenge’ yellow boots (Photo credit: Siniša Sunara)

Borovo use natural, local materials for their shoes which are all produced at the Borovo factory in Vukovar and they export to markets abroad. Apart from the United States, Borovo shoes were available in Canada, Singapore and Australia.

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