Born in 1967 and (as their Nylite Project homepage states) “worn by Björn Borg in the era when tennis stars made rock stars blush,” Tretorn’s Nylite canvas sneaker is a true classic.

Thankfully, the good people at Tretorn are firm believers that perfection should, in fact, be messed with—and encouraged style bloggers all over the globe to treat fresh, white Nylites like blank canvases for their own, fully personalized, DIY works of art. Our favorite examples are below.

Travis Gumbs of Street Etiquette dyed his Nylites this rich cranberry hue—
a perfectly subtle pop of color for fall.

Inspired by summer odd jobs as a kid, F.E. Castleberry of Unabashedly Prep
spattered his pair with paint.

Jake Gallagher, author of the blog Wax Wane (as well as a regular GQ Eye contributor)
dipped his in Kool-Aid—purple flavor, of course.

The man behind I Am Sangsouvanh mixed two parts olive-green dye with one part kelly green—
“not too bright and not too dark.”

Noah Emrich pulled off a pretty skilled gradient effect.
Check out his site,, for the step-by-step. [Noah photos by James Nord.]

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Shop the Tretorn Nylite, along with 19 other items handpicked by Jim Moore and the editors of GQ, in this month’s edition of GQ Selects.

[Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom. Photo credits listed when available; if your work is here and you’d like it removed or credited, please contact us using the ‘Email the Editor’ link at right.]


Tretorn’s are the original tennis sneaker. The brand hasn’t changed them and doesn’t need to—the formula is down pat. They are the perfect shade of off-white that is best coupled with casual clothes. In the autumn months, I like taking cotton sneakers like these and matching them with a rag sock and a rolled-up jean. It’s an easy way to make your summer sneakers work for you year-round.”

—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director


Shop Tretorn ‘Nylite’ Sneaker


Each month, the editors of GQ, in collaboration with Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director Tommy Fazio and the Men’s Shop, will select key items from the pages of GQ to feature right here on

For the third edition of GQ Selects, we’ve chosen 20 favorites from the September issue. Check back each month for more.