Wednesday, October 11, 2017

#008 "North Star Model: 38" - 11"x14" acrylic on wood panel

You probably have to at least be over 40 to remember these. My first encounter with North Star shoes was my first day in High School. I moved to Canada in 1982 one day before my first day of grade 9. So first day of high school, in a new school, in a new country. It was a bit of culture shock. Everything was very similar but just a bit off. Kinda of like going to Europe where everything looks familiar but the store names are different and milk isn't kept in a fridge. Anyway... first day of school I immediately notice differences in clothes and shoes. Adidas 3 stripe pants were everywhere, boys wearing clogs, Kodiak boots, jean jackets, buffalo plaid jackets (I kind of went to a rocker school) and then there were these... the North Star Model 38's. I was thinking to myself "What are these things? are they trying to be Adidas without one stripe? I don't get it." Anyway the point being, these stuck in my mind from my first years in Canada.

North Star was a division of Bata shoes that were made in Batawa, Ontario. North Star originally started in the 40's but was "relaunched" in 1970 as a sport and leisure brand lasting into the early 80's when Bata pulled out and moved to Europe. In 2010 there was an attempt to revive the brand by the same folks behind the Roots Olympic designs with a bit of hype and having the support of The Bay, but it never materialized. North Star from what I can find seems to still exist in some form as a brand still in control of Bata but it seems that the classic Model 38 is no longer being made.

Enjoy this North Star commercial in all it's late 70's glory:

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