Converse’s Chuck Taylor is iconic, to say the least. Over the last 98 years, since its conception, the famous American shoe has scarcely changed in shape, minus the odd collaboration or special edition. That is, until now. Yesterday, a celebration took place. As, no doubt, your social media feeds informed you. And why? Converse launched its all shiny and brand new Chuck Taylor All Star II.
Looking at the new design, it doesn’t immediately strike you to be all that different. However, when you look a little closer, you see that the devil really is in the detail. Fabrics are updated, with new textures making an appearance; fonts are slightly modernised; seams are cleaner; and the overall shape seems to have undergone a makeover, giving it a curved and streamlined appearance. What really makes the Chuck Taylor All Star II innovative though, is the story behind its inception.
When the shoe was first born, its design reflected its purpose – basketball. Functional, comfortable and reliable; these were the foundations of the Chuck Taylor. Fast forward 40 years, and the shoe emerges with a major haircut. Inches were taken away from the Chuck Taylor, giving it a new low-cut shape and different market. Pro players adopted the shoe, and it became the symbol of the laid-back west coast lifestyle. Soon, new colourways hit the shelves and in the 90s the design is updated in leather.
Today, Converse’s Chuck Taylor is known for its brand partnerships and its versatility; chosen as the show of choice my mums, teenagers, skaters, sport stars…basically, anyone and everyone! The shoe is more than that, it is a representation of society and culture, and this update is no exception.
The Chuck Taylor All Star II takes inspiration from artists, musician and creatives from all over the world. Its new look is the result of Converse’s goal to design a shoe that reflects the life of leading figures in the creative industry; adding more personality to the shoe, the brand is collaborating with some of the world’s leading artists. At a time when the creative arts is under threat due to government cuts, it’s nice to know Converse has our back – or feet.