Do you remember your childhood wellies? Maybe you called them galoshes or rain boots. They were a bright color – yellow, red, or navy – with white trim, and could take a whole lot of mud and water while keeping your socks dry. They were probably made by Tretorn.
Fast forward some decades, and Tretorn has kept its functional style while adding a whole lot of preppy. Now the Swedish brand takes Manhattan: Tretorn’s first New York City store opened in Soho recently, on Spring Street. The store showcases all of its collections (sneakers and rubber boots for men, women, and children, as well as men’s apparel, accessories, and Tretorn eyewear).
“We’ve been trying to open this store for about two years,” said Tretorn’s CMO Antonio Bertone, “but there are many hurdles to overcome when you open a store in New York City. We liked this neighborhood a lot, and we wanted a clean aesthetic for our store. Six months ago, we opened a mini store in Georgetown as a laboratory, to see how things went. And it’s going great, so we have high hopes.”
The 1300 square foot New York City store is more stylish-New-England-country-club in feel than utilitarian Scandinavian hunting lodge. There are containers filled with tennis balls – a nod to the fact that Tretorn is the third largest brand in Europe for tennis balls.
Tretorn was founded in 1891 by Henry Dunker (1870-1962) in Helsingborg, Sweden, and quickly became a recognized brand throughout Scandinavia and Germany. Dunker was a philanthropist whose devotion to his “extended family” of employees has become legendary. He offered them free health care and instituted childcare and a kindergarten on-site. In the 1970’s Tretorn became world famous as Björn Borg always wore the now iconic Tretorn Nylite. PUMA AG purchased Tretorn in 2001. Last fall Tretorn launched Klader, a men’s sportswear collection.
“The brand is very much a product of pop culture,” continues Bertone. “It’s a very preppy icon, very Ralph Laurenesque. And Americans are just now discovering Tretorn wellies for their kids.”
150 Spring Street (btwn Wooster & W. Broadway)
New York, NY 10012
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