Photo: Tretorn

Neighborhood: SoHo
Type of Place: Women's Clothing Sneakers

I'd heard that Swedish sneaker gurus Tretorn had recently opened a shop in Soho, and I was eager to see what they'd offer. I'm not especially big on brand devotion, preferring to make decisions about what I like item by item, but this brand I have always been rather partial to: Their goods are classic and well-made, attractive and graceful without being flashy. My feet were clad in one pair of Tretorns after another during my teen years, and as I entered the store, I had a sense of visiting an old friend.

This old buddy did not disappoint. Tretorn has branched out beyond sneakers, but they've kept their elegant lines and quality construction consistent--and their prices reasonable. As I looked around, a group of shoppers speaking Japanese drifted in; a minute later, we were joined by a family speaking Italian. As I was leaving, a group of French speakers stepped inside. So it's not just Sweden and America that love Tretorn, apparently; and no wonder.

I'd feel remiss if I didn't begin where it began for this brand: Their original canvas sneakers are still a hit. I loved them in cheery yellow, though they're also great in grey, blue, clay, or black; or go for white, with the Tretorn stripe available in an array of colors ($55).

The day's gloomy weather sparked my interest in rain boots, and fortunately the supply here held promise of making grey days cheerier. I especially loved a warmly lined turquoise pair ($60). Kids luck out with nine available colors ($45), including charming shades of green, pink, yellow, and blue. And babies will look just too cute in their own tiny Tretorn sneakers or boots (I was too distracted by the cuteness to write down the prices, but I can tell you that the boots are available in patterns of cars, airplanes, wolves, and flowers).

Over in clothing, I loved a cotton jacket perhaps best described as a "beach blazer," in cream or greyish-blue ($98), that could serve as a practical beach cover and then hold up just as well during dinner at the post-beach restaurant. Also charming was a dress my notes describe as "tennis dress but longer" (it will hit right around the knee), in cream cotton ($108, and also in slate grey). In the men's section, I loved an orange t-shirt with a Tretorn-sneaker over the breast ($48) and a dashing slate-grey windbreaker ($188).

If you're a camper, you're in further luck: A great item called a "spork" (portable spoon and fork in one) is $2.99; "serving sporks" are $4.99; and a whole traveling meal kit (plate, cup, spork, etc.) is a great deal and a nifty gift at $19.99.

To wrap it all up and keep it together, there are tote bags in elegant lines and traditional Tretorn shades (like navy, grey, and cream). Maybe it's that I'm reading a book of essays about John Hughes (director of such 80s unforgettables as "The Breakfast Club" and "Pretty in Pink"); or perhaps I was just so pleased to see that not only are old favorite sneakers of mine still available, but they're still very fairly priced. But I felt almost grateful as I walked around the shop: We can't go back in time, but some things--movies we loved, sneakers we lived in--will move forward with us.   - Pamela Grossman; Apr 12, 2009

150 Spring St
between Wooster and W Broadway
New York, NY 10012
(646) 454-9680