Converse started making ‘sneakers’ in the US way back in 1908. Marquis Mills Converse first produced the shoes and had the radical idea to bypass the ‘rubber trust’ and deal directly with retailers in and around Boston.
The philosophy (while controversial at the time) worked and the company were also among the first to get behind a new sport developing at the time. Basketball.
The year 1918 became something of a landmark for Converse becuase this was when Chuck Taylor, a huge Basketball fan and semi-successful player player joined the company.
He invents a diamond formation tread on the sole and their most famous shoe, the now legendary All-Star.
In music they were a mainstay of rock’n’roll even before the term was invented. Through new wave, punk, grunge, everyone from to George Harrison to The Doors, David Bowie to Blondie, to Kurt Cobain, U2 and Coldplay – all have tied Chuck Taylor laces before walking out onto the worlds biggest stages.
While the world may have changed beyond all recognition, Converse has kept to their original ideals and the Chuck Taylor All-Star remains pretty much unchanged.
Worn on battle fields, badminton courts, dance halls and prison yards, Converse have expanded and grown their range since the early days and while some shoes have come and gone, the All-Star remains an iconic beacon that transcends fashion and long may they continue.