MATES – Historia de Barcelona

Francesc Mates era atleta, i no es conformava a córrer amb espardenyes, com era habitual als anys quaranta. Amb retalls de pell sobrants de la casa de sabates on feia d’aprenent als 14 anys, es va fer ell mateix les seves primeres sabatilles esportives. Eren tan còmodes, que ben aviat la família i els amics li van encarregar rèpliques, i el 1947 creava la seva marca, Mates, coetània de firmes com Adidas, que va néixer el 1949.

“Les sabates que serveixen per fer esport serveixen per anar pel carrer, però no al revés”, matisa la Myrna, convençuda que els seus dissenys valen per a tot. I més ara, que el calçat esportiu s’ha consolidat en la vestimenta diària i, en general, la roba d’esport ha fet el salt del gimnàs a l’oficina.

La filla d’aquell sabater manetes, Myrna Mates, està ara al capdavant de la firma. “Era una persona molt inquieta i sempre buscava tres peus al gat”, emfatitza per explicar que el seu pare era un enginyós que adaptava les soles a cada esport. Ella segueix treballant de forma artesanal al seu taller del barri barceloní de Sants, on fa un producte genuí que ven a la botiga del carrer Gayarre, oberta el 2007.

“No són vambes, són Mates”

Diu la Myrna somrient, tal com feia el seu pare, que fins i tot va arribar a comprar unes sabatilles Wamba –la marca per la qual es va popularitzar el terme vamba–, i les tenia al taller per fer la broma als clients que li demanaven vambes. Qualitat i personalització han estat sempre els valors del calçat Mates. Ara que està a punt de fer 70 anys, i després d’haver superat la crisi del 2008 fent sobretot calçat per a peus delicats, s’ha convertit en una marca moderna que vol créixer a poc a poc i en un producte de culte al Japó.

 

Fotos desde Nanamica (Japón).

 

La Myrna explica que va agafar el relleu quan el seu pare es va posar malalt i des d’aleshores viu apassionada amb la feina de mestra sabatera. Fins que va arribar el boom de marques internacionals, les Mates es venien a moltes de les sabateries d’Espanya, i els esportistes estaven acostumats a calçar-les. Entre tots els models, unes de les més mítiques són les d’handbol, que es continuen fabricant de la mateixa manera.

Aquestes són unes de les que han seduït els clients japonesos, que valoren l’exclusivitat que ofereix un producte de qualitat fet a mà en un petit taller de Barcelona. Va ser el 2011 quan les van descobrir i ara ja envien sis comandes l’any cap al Japó. Cada setmana passen per la botiga turistes japonesos, que aprofiten que aquí les Mates es venen a la meitat de preu. Al Japó, estan entre 280 i 300 euros, mentre que a Barcelona costen entre 100 i 140 euros. El públic japonès també adora els models de tennis i de marató, però les utilitzen com a calçat de carrer.

“Les sabates que serveixen per fer esport serveixen per anar pel carrer, però no al revés”, matisa la Myrna, convençuda que els seus dissenys valen per a tot. I més ara, que el calçat esportiu s’ha consolidat en la vestimenta diària i, en general, la roba d’esport ha fet el salt del gimnàs a l’oficina.

 

FONT: CAT.ELPAIS.COM

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English by Google Translation

Francesc Mates was an athlete, and was not content to run with sandals, as usual in the forties. With excess skin clippings from the shoes house where he was learning at age 14, he himself made his first sneakers. They were so comfortable, that soon the family and friends commissioned replicas, and in 1947 created their brand, Mates, a firm cohort of Adidas, born in 1949.

“The shoes that serve to sport serve to go the street, but not the other way around,” says Myrna, convinced that her designs are worth everything. And more so, that the sport footwear has consolidated in the daily clothes and, generally, the sport clothes has made the jump of the gym to the office.

The daughter of that handkerchief, Myrna Mates, is now at the helm of the firm. “He was a very restless person and he always looked for three feet to the cat,” he emphasizes to explain that his father was an ingenious who adapted soles to each sport. She continues to work artisan in her workshop in the Barcelona district of Sants, where she makes a genuine product that sells at the store in Gayarre street, opened in 2007.

“They are not vambes, they are Mates,” says Myrna smiling, as his father did, who even bought some Wamba shoes – the brand that made the word vamba popular – and he had them Workshop to make the joke to the clients who asked for socks. Quality and personalization have always been the values ​​of Mates shoes. Now that he is about to be 70 years old, and after having overcome the crisis of 2008, doing especially delicate footwear, has become a modern brand that wants to grow slowly and in a cult product at Japan.

Myrna explains that he took over when his father became ill and since then he is passionate about working as a shoe teacher. Until the boom of international brands arrived, the Mates were sold to many of the Spanish shoes, and the athletes were accustomed to wearing them. Among all the models, some of the most mythical are those of handball, which are still manufactured in the same way.

These are some of those who have seduced Japanese customers, who value the exclusivity offered by a quality handmade product in a small workshop in Barcelona. It was 2011 when they discovered it and now they send six orders each year to Japan. Every week Japanese tourists go through the store, taking advantage of the fact that here the Mates are sold at half price. In Japan, they are between 280 and 300 euros, while in Barcelona cost between 100 and 140 euros. The Japanese public also adores tennis and marathon models, but they use them as street footwear.

“The shoes that serve to sport serve to go the street, but not the other way around,” says Myrna, convinced that her designs are worth everything. And more so, that the sport footwear has consolidated in the daily clothes and, generally, the sport clothes has made the jump of the gym to the office.