The famous group Bat’a, the world first shoe producer founded in 1894, built the factory town of Borovo in the middle of Yugoslavia in 1931. In 1945, the factory became the property of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, and was then entirely managed by its employees.
The brand Startas was born in 1976 thanks to the new techniques of rubber vulcanization invented in the 70’s. Historically designed for table tennis players, the little canvas shoes quickly became iconic in the sports world and a fashion must-have in the former republic.
In 1987, the brand was the official sponsor of the University Olympics Games of Zagreb, in which 4000 athletes from more than 120 countries took part. Startas reached its zenith the same year, with five million pairs sold, but suffered the terrible conflicts that hit the Balkans in the early 90’s. The brand almost disappeared.
The Startas factory, located in Vukovar, was badly hit by the bombings in the area during the war. Most of the buildings were destroyed, which forced the company to shut down production between 1991 and 1997. In 1998, the factory slowly restarted production with only 1,000 employees – a dramatic reduction from the 22,000 employees it had before the war.
After nearly 20 years of falling into obscurity, Startas has reemerged from the past thanks to the new designs made by Mauro Massarotto.
From 2008 to 2013, five years spent rethinking and re-launching the brand in the Balkans, both Startas and Croatia are making their entrance in Europe.
Today, the brand is proud of its history and is delighted to present models inspired from a unique culture and legacy, still manufactured with the same technique used for nearly four decades.
Strongly influenced by the spirit of Yugoslavia, founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, we are glad to offer the citizens of the world original and ambitious sneakers.