Converse as a canvas: a guide to the best colorways for iconic shoes

Over its more than a century history, Converse has managed to go far beyond the sports grounds and become a must-have number 1 for any wardrobe. And in order to wear them every day it was only joy, designers constantly paint converse in accordance with seasonal trends and current prints. Which ones, we will tell and show in our material.

Converse sneakers originally came in black only, and the only decorative element on them was a round emblem, pasted on, it was rumored to protect the ankle of athletes from shock and damage. In the post-war period, fans of converse, which then included not only basketball players, turned to the brand’s management with a request to diversify the color scheme. In response, the popular Chuck Taylor All-Star has been painted in seven different colors and is also available in clear and neon. Manufacturers decided on a major modernization of conservative sneakers only half a century later: for their 100th anniversary, the converse was “dressed up” in various prints, which became an effective way of self-expression of the owners of American sneakers.

The limited-edition Chuck Taylor All-Star collection, released in 2008, featured the faces and symbols of the ’90s music headliners that made Converse the premier “old school” shoe. These are, for example, Ozzy Osbourne, who was awarded a monochrome model with cartoons, Pink Floyd, in whose honor a version with the cover of their album was released, and Kurt Cobain, whose personalized sneakers duplicate lines from his personal diary. Gorillaz, who also received personal sneakers, made awards for the brand three years later in the form of their own design of Converse, which were sold out almost a week after the official launch of sales.

A limited-edition Converse collection dedicated to musicians. Sneakers in honor of Pink Floyd, 2008

The first “musical” collaboration was followed by collaborations with major fashion houses in America and Europe, which led to the creation of completely new Converse models. However, in 2010, the brand returned to popularizing the legendary Chuck Taylor All-Star, which, thanks to the work with Missoni, received an ethnic coloring in the form of a zigzag pattern. The successful debut of the tandem left no chances to stop working together and presented the world with several more unusual collections with a special emphasis on both brands.

Converse X Missoni, 2010

Converse’s design history also includes the brand’s collaboration with Japan’s Comme des Garçons, which resulted in Rei Kawakubo’s signature print leather and canvas trainers. The big-eyed shoes have become one of the favorites among converse fans and are worn as often as the classic white Chuck Taylor All-Star.

Converse X Comme des Garçons, 2013

Alessandra Ferreira, the founder of the Brazilian brand Isolda, also added exoticism to the design of the crosses. Together with Converse, she created luscious multicolored sneakers, which were especially relevant at the time of the popularity of floral prints. Unfortunately, they are only available in South American countries.

Converse X Isolda, 2013

Interestingly, the color palette of Converse is not limited to the collaboration of the shoe brand with designers and musicians. In 2012, sneaker makers went further and hired renowned avant-garde artist Kevin Lyons, who donated his signature graphic monsters to the conversions. Two years later, the brand copied the famous paintings of Warhol and Liechtenstein onto the canvas of sneakers, releasing several pop art collections. The proceeds from the sale of shoes with images of tomato soup cans, bananas, and Marilyn Monroe’s face were donated to the Andy Warhol Foundation for the development of the arts.

It is worth saying that even despite the relative success of the above models, the most high-profile Converse collaborations were marked by the labels “DC” and “The Simpsons”. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the history of the yellow men, Chuck Taylor All-Star came out in several colors, dedicated to each member of the Simpson family. Men’s white and blue sneakers wore Homer, exclaiming the phrases “D’Oh!” and “Woo Hoo!” for women’s ones – Marge, Lisa and Maggie, and for children’s, in turn, Bart, writing on the blackboard the words “I will not waste chalk”. The limited cartoon collection was wildly popular not only because of the nostalgic moods and favorite characters but also because of the quite affordable prices ranging from $ 37 to $ 65 per pair.

In 2014, the superhero Converse sneakers with portraits of the Justice League members – Batman, Superman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman – were released. For supporters of the dark forces, a model with the face of the Joker was released, redone this summer, when the role of the character passed to actor Jared Leto. His movie lover – mad Harley Quinn played by Margot Robbie – also received her own pair of sneakers, as, in fact, other members of the “Suicide Squad”, for whom comfortable shoes are the key to a successfully completed mission.

Converse strikingly combines conservatism and tendentiousness, adding time and fashion-inspired images to iconic sneakers. The brand never claimed a high status and an elite segment, for the most part focusing on mass, but at the same time managed to maintain the exclusivity of its models, set in 1908 by the Marquis Mills Converse himself. One way or another, the value of sneakers is not measured by the drawings applied to them, but by their practicality and versatility. This is evidenced by, perhaps, the best Chuck Taylor All-Star print in the form of scuffs and deformations created by the love sock of loyal fans of the brand.

Photo: Getty Images

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