Shelflife is proud to announce that we will officially be stocking Converse in our Cape Town, Johannesburg and online store from the 2nd of November, to celebrate this occasion we thought we’d give you a bit of background to one of the world’s favourite brands. Starting out as a simple rubber shoe company and building themselves into one of the biggest names in the world, Converse have created an instantly recognisable aesthetic that thousands of brands have attempted to copy, but as the saying goes – you can’t beat the real thing.
Converse began in 1908 as a rubber shoe company specialising in galoshes (rubber based shoes) and, soon after, they adapted and started to use their rubber to make sneakers, which we have all come to know and love. By 1910 they were well into daily production, however it wasn’t until 1915 that the athletic shoes we’ve come to know and love were in production. In 1920, they renamed their canvas basketball trainers the “All Star”. The name stuck and was quickly followed by the endorsement of a basketball player by the name of Charles “Chuck” Taylor.
For the following decades hi-cut canvas Converse styles ruled the game and as a new leisure culture emerged from the ashes of war, more people than ever were getting involved. As the sport evolved, players eventually began chopping the tops off their shoes, preferring the freedom of movement it allowed. Converse took note, and delivered their first low-cut All Star Ox (Oxford Cut) in 1957.
By the late 60s there were other brands to compete with in the basketball arena. PUMA and adidas offered premium options such as leather and suede. The canvas shoe had a new partner on the court, so in keeping with the times Converse developed their All Star Leather – utilising a new cut-away star branding to show off the layered construction of the technologically advanced design. The familiar chevron branding didn’t accompany the star at this point, instead the star sat between a pair of parallel stripes, which slanted downward towards the heel from the laces.
Over time the brand developed into multiple occasion footwear which were no longer made exclusively to sink jump shots on the court. They became an icon of everyday street style throughout North America, before they eventually became synonymous with street style and everyday life across the world.
To kick off the release of Converse we will be dropping the Suede Converse One Star in a variety of pastel colours, along with the Converse x Engineered Garments Capsule which releases on the 2nd of November in our JHB and online store at 5h30pm.