A recently opened show at the Retromuseum in Cheb, Czech Republic, celebrates the history and design legacy of the historical sports shoe brand Botas. In 2008 graphic design students Jan Kloss and Jakup Korouš, then studying at UMPRUM in Prague, launched its sub-label Botas 66.
After a few years of designing their own colorful Botas 66 sneakers in collaboration with the original company, the duo – with their own creative producer and design organiser Darina Zavadilová – curated a retrospective exhibition to commemorate the rich history of this winning shoe brand.
The show is the Retromuseum's first retrospective (the museum focuses on documenting and researching mid-century lifestyle in the former Czechoslovakia), presenting several historical and thematic chapters of Botas' history and design.
Established in 1949 in the small town of Skuteč in East Bohemia, the company was a bestseller for Czech professional and amateur sportspeople. It became a true icon of Czech consumer production in 1966 with the launch of the legendary 'Classic' indoor model. That design was the main inspiration behind the launching of Botas 66.
The exhibition presents historical models of myriad different shoes – for running, ice skating, athletics, cycling, boxing and hiking – as well as vintage graphic design presentations and adverts featuring bold typefaces and dynamic illustrations. Product development and factory ephemera, and vintage social imagery of Botas shoes are also on display.
The colourful installation, conceived by Kloss and Matěj Činčera, channels classic Botas colour schemes. A dynamic use of Colorplan paper-covered columns hold both exhibits and contextual information. Also available is an accompanying catalogue, featuring a selection of interviews, essays and unique, never-before-published visual material.