The Drake General Store has a knack for killer collaborations that are covetable, stylish, and uniquely Canadian. Their latest is no exception: this time around, they’ve partnered with Bata Shoes on a limited edition version of the brand’s iconic Bullet sneaker. It blends the clean lines and simple construction of the original with a graphic pattern of DGS’s pharmacy-inspired cross logo.
“We picked the Bullet because we felt it was the strongest silhouette and it’s a little bit more gender neutral, which is always important to us,” explains Carlo Colacci, co-founder of DGS. “It had the right lines for us to incorporate a print into, but our print doesn’t overpower the sneaker, it actually adds to it. It’s unique, but if someone sees it, they still realize that it’s a Bullet.”
The exclusive low-tops will live at a Bata Heritage pop-up at Drake General Store’s Toronto flagship, which will give shoppers the chance to learn more about the shoemaker’s impressive 122 years of history — like the fact that the Bullets were originally created in 1964 for the NBA’s Baltimore Bullets, or that the brand used to be headquartered in Canada before leaving the country to focus on global markets in the early 2000s (The Bata Shoe Museum is the remaining Bata presence in Toronto).
This blend of unorthodox kicks and vibrant history is right up the alley of Charles Pignal, the shoe company’s Heritage Manager and great-grandson of founder Tomas Bata. “I’m passionate about our history and values and I absolutely want to educate customers as much as possible on that because I think it’s what makes Bata unique as a company and as a brand. When we talked with Drake about telling these stories, they totally understood the richness of the story and of the archives, and I think they’re going to do it in a very balanced, clever way while maintaining a focus on the product.”
The Bata Heritage x Drake General Store pop-up shop is on from April 19 to May 14, 2017 at 1151 Queen St. W.
PHOTOGRAPHY: LOUISA NICOLAOU