At Bata’s 125th anniversary celebrations, the majestic neo-renaissance Zofin Palace in Prague was transformed into a centre of fashion and art, with activities like a full-fledged footwear fashion show, a DIY shoe-making space, live performances, the Bata young designer’s challenge 2019 finale and a photo corner, with fun backdrops and props to celebrate ‘The Evolution of Style’ at the Bata Fashion Weekend 2019. The two-day event saw some incredible animation and superb performances, and it was a show of real and relatable fashion, which was reflected and celebrated by the catwalk models. The weekend began with a gala dinner hosted by the brand, to welcome invitees from all across the world, who came in to be a part of this celebration.
The next afternoon at the Zofin Palace saw a great display of Bata’s latest collection, new collaborations and some innovative concept sneakers created by design students from the Czech Republic, Italy and Kenya, followed by an interaction with the global team and the brand’s India representative, Sandeep Kataria, to learn more about the brand’s heritage and upcoming plans. The event ended with an elaborate fashion show, followed by an awards ceremony by Charles Pignal – director of Bata Heritage – for the young designers, and an introduction to Bata’s global ambassadors.
After experiencing this extravaganza, I also caught up with Bata’s India country manager, Sandeep Kataria, to learn more about the event and Bata’s future plans.
What is the theme ‘Evolution of Style’ all about?
It was the overarching theme of BFW 2019, where the entire event projected the brand as a fashion-forward one, which provides style and comfort. This was a perfect theme for this year, as Bata celebrates 125 years of producing shoes. The love and artistry of making shoes are in our DNA, and will always be, but the brand has evolved over time as tastes and styles have changed, and so has Bata, often driving those changes through our own innovations. Bata will focus on the theme of ‘Evolution of Style’ through the year, with all its upcoming initiatives too.
Tell us about the top three collaborations and collections to look forward to this season.
There are three major collections that we are very excited to introduce this season, the latest one being our collaboration with Coca-Cola, with the objective of producing a range of retro kicks with the iconic Coke logo. This collection is an ideal choice for all the sneakerheads out there. The second one is the Power Mello series, inspired by soft and fluffy marshmallows. This shoe is fashionable, durable and comfortable all in one, creating a walking experience like no other. The third one is the 9 to 9 collection that was showcased at BFW this season, as an extension of the 9 to 9 campaign in India. This campaign is aimed at India’s young working men and women, who don’t want to compromise on looking chic and stylish, yet are practical enough to look at the comfort factor while buying shoes.
After doing three successful seasons of Bata Fashion Weekend, is the brand looking at hosting its next season in India, considering it’s a huge market?
BFW was conceived with the idea of creating a platform to present the brand in its true global spirit and showcase the fashion collection. The event has accelerated the fashion brand imagery, and we intend to focus on continuing the tradition of BFW around the world.
Describe Bata as briefly as you can.
Come and be surprised! #SurprisinglyBata