Ask any Swiss person about their childhood memories, and you’ll find that Tigerfinkli were a standard part of their school- and play-wear – and they still are today for Swiss kids!
Shoes are probably the last thing on people’s minds when anyone asks them about their childhood memories, but Swiss nationals will wax poetic about the footwear that was such a part of their growing years: the iconic Tiger Swiss Tigerli or Tigerfinkli.
It isn’t surprising why these are so well-loved. Their appearance is quite striking: the classic Tiger Swiss child’s shoe is a playful leopard print done Mary Jane-style and embellished with cherry-red accents, including a fluffy pompom at the toe. They are delightfully whimsical: so much fun to look at and, much to the surprise of the rest of the world, incredibly comfortable – the perfect shoe for hours of playtime fun.
A Storied History
The tale of Tiger Swiss is, believe it or not, already more than eight decades old. For all of its contemporary style and appeal, the shoes were originally made by a cobbler named Edi Glogg in his Zurich atelier back in 1938.
Each pair of shoes is produced using a proprietary 20-step process called Schnürlizwick in order to ensure that every component that goes into the finished product is just right and meets exacting standards for both quality and durability.
Also, way before sustainability became de rigueur among today’s artisans and commercial producers, Edi Glogg and his team were already practicing its principles through the use of the best quality materials, all of which are locally sourced or produced.
Interestingly, though, there actually isn’t anything tiger-ish about these iconic shoes; in fact, the most popular Tigerlis have a giraffe or leopard-skin pattern! But the actual origin of the brand name has been lost over the decades, though the most popular theory opines that it’s because their target market – kindergarteners and younger school-aged kids – called them Tigers. Because: Tigers or leopards or other wild animals - it doesn't really matter to children's eyes, does it?!
Tiger Swiss Today
While it did experience a drop in its popularity during the late ‘80s, Tiger Swiss has made a roaring comeback thanks to the dynamism of the couple currently at its helm: Dominique and Adrienne von Albertini.
Between them, they have steered this iconic brand into the 21st century, enabling parents to give the next generation a much-loved item from their childhood that they, too, will be able to cherish for years to come. Plus, while Tiger Swiss now offers a wider range of shoe styles and colours, the classic Tigerli leopard-print shoe continues to be the footwear of choice – both indoors and out – for a new generation of kids growing up in a rapidly changing world.
Helvetia and Sons offers a number of adorable Tiger Swiss products via our online store. Shop for a pair for your little ones today!
Photo Credit: Tiger Swiss and Tiger.Swiss IG