SHOEAST, a Czechoslovak story

SHOEAST, a Czechoslovak story

Juraj Šuška

In the role of shoe-making power is former Czechoslovakia, finding itself for the first time during the time of the first republic. Above all else is the phenomenon of Baťa- after the second world war, in his footsteps have continued on several of the original Baťa companies (Zlín, Partizánske) with new plants as well, who’s production and impact have not yet been adequately mapped. Specifically aimed at the 1948 – 1989 period is the SHOEAST project, which calls to attention the massive boom in the footwear industry in the former Czechoslovakia, particularly in terms of design and the introduction of new technologies.

The SHOEAST project started as a doctoral project carried out at the University of Tomáš Baťa in Zlín back in 2011. Its purpose to date is to collect and process any information available on the footwear industry of post-war Czechoslovakia. It seeks to highlight the most important products in terms of design and the subsequent awards at domestic and international exhibitions, while also emphasizing the massive scale of production (many models were produced by hundreds of thousands).

SHOEAST project popularizes Czechoslovak footwear design and manufacturing mainly through exhibitions and lectures throughout Slovakia and the Czech Republic – thus giving the public notoriety that the shoes are a valid part of cultural heritage, which without support could be irretrievably lost.