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Friday, March 31, 2023

Gorbachev’s Soviet-style Mexican shoes from Perestroika, USSR

written in Pennies

20 years ago, Calzado Canada, a shoe brand, ceased to exist, a Mexican footwear design, manufacturing and marketing company that was started in Guadalajara. It was founded in 1940 by Salvador López Chávez and became a huge success throughout the country and in Latin America.

It initially had 1 employee and 5 employees, but the company revolutionized Mexican footwear and was the first to allocate part of its budget to advertising and marketing. He wanted to know his buyers and what Mexicans like to make his products.

Similarly, it established a large-scale production system, which had great influence in the country, in which a shoe goes through various stages and different workers carry out each part of the process. By the late 1950s, there were over 200 Canadian distributors in the country and by the 1980s, 16,000 pairs were being produced daily.

“It was a company that responded with a growth model and a brilliant person who fully understood the consumer situation,” explains Dr. Patricia Arias, a researcher at the University of Guadalajara.

He had a few models of shoes: “Exorcist”, “Vagabundo”, “Perestroika”, “Decathlon” sneakers, “Ringo” and “Bostonianos” shoes.

Perestroika shoes were especially coveted for the brand. In the early 90s, a complex historical moment was brewing in Europe. Perestroika was taking place in what used to be the USSR, a reform to liberalize the economy.

Perestroika was an event meant to be an opening for the Russians. Inspired by this concept, perestroika shoes were created by Calzado Canada, which were worker-type shoes.

The first Mexican commercial filmed in Russia in Red Square was made for these shoes. These advertisements were very popular in Mexico and a memory that is still with many Mexicans. In an advertisement, several people appeared in front of St Basil’s Cathedral dancing in these shoes and to Russian music, with a voice chanting, “The celebration is universal” and “Crying for peace and freedom for your feet”.

In 1976, the founder died, leaving as heiress to his daughter Sandra López Benavides, who kept Calzado Canada for two decades but eventually sold the company. It became the property of Coppell in 1998, and a few years later, on March 15, 2002, the company disappeared.

World Nation News Desk
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