Gola & Henleys - A Buyers Guide
In 1905 the Gola brand was born, it is not clear how the name came about but it has been suggested it is an anagram of the word Goal. The first ever marketing campaign took place in the mid-30s with the slogan’ Gola means Goal’ and pictured footballers wearing their Gola boots. The brand did its bit for Britain by making boots for the army during World War II. Production focused on heavy boots and shoes as well as football and rugby boots. A clever marketing technique they adopted was to target physiotherapists at football matches by providing them with free heavily branded holdalls; this would gain maximum TV coverage when the physiotherapists would treat injured players on the pitch. The success of Gola has been down to events such as in 1965 a Liverpudlian football team stopped off at the Gola factory on their way to the FA Cup final at Wembley for some free boots. When they arrived at Wembley they were approached by Adidas and the iconic Adidas stripes were painted onto the Gola boots.
In 1967 advances in technology meant football boots could be designed to be more lightweight and aerodynamic which would enhance performance. This prompted the launch of the ‘Harrier’ training shoe, the flag ship design of the Gola collection. This became the must have training shoe and could be worn whilst playing badminton, squash and volleyball. During the next few years popular sports men and women wore the Gola brand boosting its popularity. Consequently this led to sports personalities designing their own range of footwear. Popular collections included the Mark Cox tennis range, the Barry John Rugby range and the Alan Knott cricket range. Gola are also known for their revolutionary actions, they were the first to use the word trainer as an abbreviation of the training shoe. In 1984 Gola sponsored the Conference league and it was known as the ‘Gola League.’ The millennium bought a Gola Classics line which built upon the brands British heritage, a celebrity endorsement from Dennis Wise the capital of England and Chelsea boosted sales. The retro collection sold products to the same customers, now grown up who fondly remembered the brand from their childhood.
In 2009 Gola announced collaborations with eBoy and Christian Lacroix which attracted a new segment of customers. Gola has stood the test of time and has securely made its mark on the fashion world. Today Gola cleverly combines its herirgae into its flagship designs by merging styles from the vintage past with today’s most stylish trends. Some of our favourite items include the popular ‘Harrier’ style; this is the brands flagship trainer and was created in 1968. Since then it has been made in over 200 colours! Harrier is available in the original 50s colours and features suede uppers and a bouncy sole perfect for working out at the gym. From the women’s range we love Dream which is a pump designed by Tado for Gola. Dream is a lace up trainer featuring a cloud pattern on a purple background, we love the fun nature of these trainers and how they will brighten up a dreary day! If you aren’t after a trainer style shoe Gola has also designed some gorgeous boots such as Saddle, a traditional style suede boot featuring a fold down fur lining meaning the boot can be tailored to your own style. Saddle also features toggle and strap detail and is also available in black, brown and mushroom. We also definitely recommend you take a look at the Gola bags, the holdalls are great to use when you go on weekends away or just as a gym back. We especially like the Reynolds bag which is a large sports holdall which combines retro inspired designs with practicality. Also check out their range of messenger bags which include a variety of quirky designs by Tado.
Henleys was established in 1996 originally starting its life as a men’s shirt brand, after its initial success the range branched out into casual wear in the late 90s followed by a ladies range in 2002. Henleys has now transformed into a true lifestyle brand with a product range that includes denim, outerwear and accessories. The Henley collection exhibits the ideal combination innovation and individualism to success in today’s fashion climate. Luxury sporting goods are at the forefront of Henley’s vision; however they are a developer of new trends and thrive on the desire for unrivalled quality.
We’ve picked a few of our favourite footwear pieces from the Henleys collection. First up from the men’s range we’ve got the Scholar boot which has been constructed from distressed leather and can be worn pulled up or down to expose the check lining. Another favourite is the Sixfield boots which are a hiking inspired style that are both fashionable and durable. Hiking boots are set to be huge this season so be sure to get your pair before they sell out! In terms of the women’s collection we love the Waver trainers which feature punctured script branding and a contrast pink trim. Sporty comfort and new season style is combined to achieve the perfect style. If you are after an alternative, Balsa is a canvas pump with a gingham trim and floral bow. Henleys contrast branding is embroidered at the side.