Tisza shoes – the Hungarian brand conquering the fashion scene across the globe

Világgazdaság presents the story of László Vidák, who had a sudden idea to revamp an old Hungarian brand, thus reviving the Hungarian retro style. This is how the Tisza shoes became hot on the fashion scene and at the same time known to the world.

It is 2002; we are at Martfű at the Tisza shoe factory. A guy shows up out of nowhere, with the intent to restore the glory of the Tisza brand, which was ruling the Hungarian fashion scene in the 80’s. At first, he seemed like a loony bin or a misunderstood genius, but not 100% there in the head. In the past fifteen years, his crazy idea became a huge success.

The Tisza shoe is considered to be one of the trendiest Hungarian souvenirs

Even though László Vidák was positive about his endeavour, he would have never thought that there is so much potential in those long-forgotten kicks. He recalls that in 2000 he saw a young passer-by sporting an old pair of T-shoes.

“My first football and running shoes were Tisza too”

– he remembered then.

It was not just this lucky throwback to the ‘good old days’ that kicked something into motion inside László’s head, but also the fact that he has noticed during his journeys abroad that big brands like Puma, Nike or Adidas were reintroducing models around the turn of the century that were at their peak during the 1980’s.

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There was no stopping him now, so when he headed to the Martfű factory which was producing Tisza shoes since 1942, a new chapter began, a chapter that skyrocketed the Tisza-shoes into Hollywood. For example, the fashion-junkie actress, Selma Blair got hold of a pair of T’s while she was in Budapest for the production of Hellboy, and was seen even years later wearing those pairs in Hollywood.

Facing both the past and the future

By the end of the 1990’s the Martfű Tisza shoe factory only produced safety shoes for the Hungarian State Railways and the Hungarian Army. The 1971 copyright of the Tisza logo has expired too, which was also revived by László Vidák.

The commercial manager of the factory was taken aback at first, but László’s enthusiasm convinced him to re-start the production of the sports shoes. It took them a long, although, to find the exact models that László wished to put back on the shelves of stores, but luckily the original modelling team was still there.

In the beginning, the shoes were ‘advertised’ by musicians who wore them on stage or to parties.

Not long after, a journalist got word of it, and from there, the way was only up.

Though the journey was a bit rocky, they have sold 25 pairs of shoes so far, and it is very likely that this number will grow exponentially. The Tisza shoes have a stable circle of buyers, László Vidák reveals.

featured image: https://www.facebook.com/Tiszacipo