STORY & LEGACY
ACQUO Heritage – THE fashion rubber boot
Read about a fashion fairytale that came true. The heritage of ACQUO of Sweden.
ACQUO is a collection of rubber boots, designed to bring you a feeling of abundance. The fashion rubber boot is built on the philosophy of luxury, sustainability and protection, and can be worn in both rural and urban environments. The ACQUO boot is handmade and 100 percent vegan, which not only makes it exclusive but also environmentally friendly.
It was during the late 1970’s that businessman Bengt Sjöstrand, active in the rubber and plastic industry, decided to create beautiful, high-quality fashion rubber boots for women. The boots became far more popular than Bengt could ever hope for, and these boots came to revolutionize the shoe industry in several ways.
Bengt had a friendship and a collaboration with Karin Geiger, who was a Swedish pioneer in fashion design. Karin was better known by the name “Katja of Sweden” and designed boots for Tretorn in the late 1960s and thus laid the foundation for the upcoming ACQUO boots.
When Bengt decided to start his production with ACQUO, the boots were manufactured at Tretorn’s rubber factory in Helsingborg, with the same rubber used for several of “Katja of Sweden’s” boot models.
This description of ACQUO boots from the 70’s is in Swedish only.
These new Tretorn boots quickly became known and incredibly popular. They were sold in Sweden, USA and England, among others, and were carried by lots of women in London and Stockholm as well as in many other of the world’s capitals.
Katja of Sweden considered that the boots were unisex and wanted to make an advertisement that was as revolutionary as the boot itself. Her suggestion was to make an ad that would include young people, both girls and boys. A few days later they took photos for the campaign and just as Katja of Sweden wanted, there were pictures of a girl and a guy. Both wore high boots from Tretorn which became the foundation for the ACQUO boots.
When the collaboration started between Katja of Sweden and Tretorn, a tall, slim boot was first named Katinka. The boot was available in the colors black, red and antique brown. It was the first time you made a rubber boot in such a thin and flexible rubber and also the first time you used stretch lining. In the autumn of 1970 several new models came from Katja of Sweden. The boot Karenina with a slightly higher heel, Candida which had a collar and several other boots with such as structure and crocodile pressed rubber.
At the beginning of the 1970s, new fashion rubber boots were launched each year, still in the same style with high and narrow shaft and both high and low heels. The focus of the production was on the boots being fashionable and elegant. They chose to name the new collections according to different cities, including Zurich and Budapest. Budapest was an elegant boot that was up to 44 cm high and with 5 cm heel. It was also manufactured with a plateau sole, in the 80s. It is this Budapest boot that stands as a model for today’s ACQUO models, with the slightly higher heel.
Sales of Tretorn’s fashion rubber boots flourished and the soft, elegant fashion rubber boots were sold in several exclusive stores around the world. The model Katinka was a bestseller in the UK especially where the luxury store Russel & Bromley, among others. The collaboration continued for many years during the 70s and 80s and Tretorn also produced a couple of special models exclusively for the store.
In an old brochure from the 1980s we find that the ACQUO fashion rubber boots were made of a soft and elastic natural rubber that was 10 times more durable than, for example, vinyl plastic. The natural rubber used for the boots was made from juice that came from the rubber tree “Hevea Brasiliensis”. It was thus a material that at that time had stiff competition from synthetic rubber and plastic. ACQUO itself expressed in the brochure that there was a mass production of cheap synthetic rubber and seat boots, while ACQUO instead invested heavily in quality rather than quantity. The pure undiluted rubber used in the ACQUO production was something quite different from the hard traditional rubber boots. They had a soft and pliable feel that was compared to that of a calfskin coat.
Each boot was built on aluminum sheets made of pieces that were cut out of the rubber tricycle and which together formed a unique boot. Each boot was painted with great care and finally vulcanized for a magnificent finish that made them durable for years to come. The big sales pitch in the ad was that the ACQUO boots made the user feel attractive and they urged that these boots be seen as an investment in their wardrobe.
The ACQUO fashion rubber boots is an exclusive boot made of natural rubber. Designed in Stockholm and produced in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province in eastern China. The factory was inspected on site by the world-leading inspection company, the SGS group. The SGS Group is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. The legendary Swedish rubber ACQUO fashion boots were originally created in the 70’s, when an experienced rubber and plastics manufacturer, Mr Sjöstrand of Sweden, decided it was time to create beautiful rubber boots of the highest quality for women. ACQUO boots were worn extensively by women in London, Stockholm and many other capitals of the world. Mr Sjöstrand contacted the Tretorn rubber manufacturing establishment in the south of Sweden, who were at that time famous for everyday rubber boots and other rubber products. Now branded as ACQUO Boots, the new boots quickly rose to fame and became very popular. They were sold in Sweden and England during the 70’s. However, Mr Sjöstrand, being a successful businessman in many areas, had to concentrate on his main output, women’s clothing, and the ACQUO boots were discontinued after a few years.
The years went by and the fame of the beautiful Swedish ACQUO boots from the 70’s became legend. Their quality had stood the test of time, boots purchased in the 70’s were still as soft and smooth as new. Customers thought, and hoped, what if they could be manufactured again? In 2010, Jessica Lingonstierna of Sweden met with Mr Sjöstrand. When she saw the remaining stock of the ACQUO boots an idea started to take form. Jessica resolved that one day she would start making ACQUO boots and sell them again.
After carefully investigating the market, and with support from Mr Sjöstrand, the time had come. After a long process of finding a manufacturer who would always hold to the highest of standards, the manufacturing of the boots commenced again. The company “ACQUO of Sweden” was formed. In May 2016 the web store was fully operational and orders came in quickly from all parts of the world, and now, with further expansion at ACQUO to meet demand, we are seeing history in the making. Once again women of the world have the opportunity to wear the world’s most fashionable, luxurious and sensual high rubber boots, black and shiny, in a full range of shaft heights and heels. To confidently stride through life, to wear them at any time, on any and every occasion, in sunshine, or in rain, on summer evenings, or on romantic snowy wintry walks. ACQUO Boots will never let you down. From Sweden to you with love ♥
This article is in Swedish only and it is from the early 80’s