In the world of fashion it seems there’s a lot to keep track of: what’s in, what’s out, who’s who, what’s what… you get the picture. But I think something that commonly gets over looked is knowing your history. It’s important; we all remember the cerulean blue scene in Devil Wears Prada (sorry for referencing this movie a second time in two weeks. Embarrassing.).
So I took an interest in one of the most classic brands on Karmaloop – I’m talking about Converse of course. While we think of them today as the go-to sneakers for everyone from that stoner, skateboarder in high school who wore them to prom to the most fashionable celebs who have rocked them on the red carpet, but they certainly didn’t start out that way.
Converse was founded in 1908, providing winterized rubber shoes out of Massachusetts. Their popularity soared when they introduced a tennis shoe in 1915. In 1917, basketball player Charles H. Taylor came to Converse complaining of sore feet. The company responded by designing him a shoe and hiring him as an ambassador, that’s where the “chucks” came in. They were the major sports shoes until the 1940s when they switched production to military boots for the war effort and after that were seen as the quintessential American shoe until the 1970s. Through the 1960s they were the official shoe of the NBA and even created a special shoe for the New York Rens, the first all-African American basketball team. By the 70s they lost popularity, but in the 2000s, under new management became a major skateboarding shoe favorited by celebrities.
Back with a cool status, Converse created collaborations with high end designers like Marc Jacobs, Vena Cava, Jean Paul Gaultier, Missoni, and Commes de Garcons. Pretty cool.
Make yourself a part of the awesome history of this totally classic and perennially cool brand with any of these awesome options.
I dare you to try and catch up to this guy: Joshua Mueller, world record holder for the largest collection of Converse.