How many of you thought BATA was Malaysian?

6 09 2008

I found this article while trolling the internet tonight and it really opened my eyes. I had always thought the shoes I and a million other kids wore to school was a Malaysian brand. How wrong I was. Read on. I guess a lot of things are not what they seem to be.

Thomas Bata, ‘Shoemaker to the World,’ Dies at 93

Published: September 2, 2008

OTTAWA — Thomas J. Bata, who moved his family business to Canada ahead of the German invasion of Czechoslovakia and later became, as he put it, “shoemaker to the world,” died in Toronto on Monday. He was 93.

Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Thomas Bata in 2005.

Mr. Bata died in a hospital, Leslie Tenenbaum, the general counsel for Bata, said. The family is not disclosing the cause of death, he said.

Mr. Bata’s footwear is not well known among fanciers of designer shoes from Manolo Blahnik or fans of the latest sneakers from Nike. But Mr. Bata made the company, which was founded by his father, so pervasive in the developing world that, according to Mr. Tenenbaum, Bata became a generic noun for shoe in some parts of it, particularly in Africa. It is, Mr. Tenenbaum added, a situation that somewhat dismays him in his role as the protector of the company’s trademarks.

Mr. Bata, who was born in Prague on Sept. 17, 1914, gradually assumed control of the family business after his father’s death in an airplane crash in 1932. Bata was already a substantial operation at that time. Based in Zlin, Czechoslovakia, the company was then making about 36 million pairs of shoes a year and exporting to the United States and Asia while also operating retail shops in several European countries.

You can read the rest of the New York Times article here.

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One response

7 09 2008
thepuppeteer

hmm.. i used to hv continental shoes then..haha

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