Tag Archives: chuck taylor

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CONVERSE ALL STAR

chuckdiagram

A few weeks ago I covered the Converse All Star Modern launch for 032c and we had to leave out a fair chunk of historical talk regarding the Converse All Star. Seeing as it’s such an important design (whether you care much for shoes or not), here’s the part of the rough draft that was excised. As always with these kinds of things, I encourage all feedback and corrections. It still blows my mind that this shoe is a century old next year.

Converse’s in-house archivist Sam Smallidge is deeply enthusiastic about the All Star and the brand that made it despite no previous inclination towards athletic footwear. Having previously been an Ernest Hemingway Collection Intern at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, trading Papa for Chuck has been a new outlet for his love of discovery for research, “My favourite part of the job is joining the dots — my personality type is getting obsessed with whatever collection I’m working on to obsessive detail.Continue reading A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CONVERSE ALL STAR

DAMAGE

This is a pretty unfocused bout of blogging that would be better off on Tumblr, but it can stay on WordPress for the time being. I wasn’t aware of the ads above and below — 1984’s duck camo Chuck Taylors from an Olympic year when a pattern on an All Star got its own advertisement and the 1971 ad for their camo duck hunting parka (I never knew they made hunting gear), complete with some J Peterman style writing (“Your quarry’s doomed. You see it, but it won’t see much of you”) from a time when camo was for hunters, soldiers and crazed loners rather than aspiring blog-dandies.

Just when you worry that graffiti has become a carefully placed bunch of stencils depicting David Cameron bumming Bin Laden or something or a hapless Coca-Cola mural for the Olympics, it’s refreshing to see a different kind of Olympic runner out there competing in the 91 mile Bedford-Brighton race. I haven’t seen this much damage on trains stopping in my town and I’m assuming that it’s a mission to get some extra fame while First Capital Connect (or Thameslink to people that still call Snickers bars “Marathons”) is full of imbeciles with picnic bags, dithering at the ticket barriers and clogging the left side of escalators across London. Salutes to SLANG and company for their work and the KCRUSH tributes. I haven’t seen a train like this in a few years, but then again, I don’t get out much.

Greece’s Giorgos Lanthimos makes gloriously odd films with amazing posters. ‘Dogtooth’s was a masterpiece and ‘Alps’s eccentric look at the grieving process has an equally beautiful promotional design too.

The Trilogy Tapes keeps on bringing it — the R Kelly Devo design by Nick Relph for Hot Chip they sold last year was one of the best t-shirts ever, they recently linked to a Gherkin Records t-shirt — a superior piece of house-related merchandise — and the ‘2012’ design they just upped on the blog looks good too. Still willfully obtuse in their taped output, Will Bankhead is a don.

Like some curious crossover of the kind of thing I up here and something a lot more professional, my friends at Nike Basketball and Nike Sportswear let me work with them (salutes to Leo, Nate and Chad) to amass some content to celebrate the last 20 years of shoe designs. I think there seems to be a hunger for content that might have been confined to a handful of nerds (like me) a few years ago these days — possibly down to a volume of content aggregation/unnecessary middleman sites. So far there’s been Force 180 Lows, Huarache Flights and Raids. Raids are a shoe dear to my heart and the shoe originally known as the Air Jack was accompanied by some amazing 1991 questionnaires with inner city kids (“FAVOURITE GROUP: BRAND NUBIAN”) and the original VHS pitch tape somewhere. For the oddballs who stress out over these things, there’s no Jordans in the official top 20 because they’re a brand of their own nowadays and suddenly stopping including them post-1998 would be odd. Check them out here. Wilson Smith, Tinker Hatfield, Aaron Cooper, Mark Smith, Tracy Teague and Eric Avar had stories for days.