Converse All Stars: The Rock Star’s Shoe Of Choice
Its branding is recognisable worldwide as a fashion icon, yet it’s the most comfortable item in many people’s wardrobes. They’re just as likely to be worn by a punk, a football fan, a teenage girl and a band member on stage at Glastonbury.
Not many items can claim such versatility or such global brand recognition, but the fashion-friendly footwear that are Converse All Stars manage to achieve this seemingly inconceivable feat.
Converse has dominated the shelves in shoe stores worldwide since they were first developed in the early 20th century in Massachusetts, when they were designed to support the weary ankles of basketball players.
Since then they’ve been taken up by so many subcultures and championed in so many trends, it’s hard to believe they have remained such a popular brand.
Perhaps the group that have claimed Converse All Stars most passionately within their collective wardrobe is the music industry, with a particular admiration from rock and punk musicians.
Whether worn by musicians on stage at festivals, touring the biggest stadiums or playing at an intimate local gig, Converse runners are a staple of the music scene – and these shoes are spotted both on and off-stage.
Just by looking at Converse’s marketing strategy and celebrity endorsements you can see how the brand has earned fans from all ages and genres.
Many shoe labels have tried to make their logo synonymous with music, but it’s only Converse All Stars that have successfully managed to transcend musical genre and taste, from hip hop artist Pharrell Williams to The Strokes lead singer Julian Casablancas.
It’s a fairly unique claim to fame; there aren’t many items of clothing that a rap star might share with someone like Sid Vicious from The Sex Pistols.
Yet it remains that for some reason, the classic blue star and iconic red writing seems to symbolise the industry as a whole, not just its various subcultures.
Perhaps it’s the degree of customisation that the shoe allows? All rock-stars worth their salt have their own ranges, after all.
Equally for the average shopper, whether they’re into checks, patterns or classic white, there’ll always be a Converse shoe that suits.
Whatever the reason, Converse succeeds where many brands have failed trying in fluidly blending commerce and art – two fields so often at odds with one another.