Converse is a men’s and women’s shoe brand with a deep history across art, sport and culture, lending its enduring silhouettes to celebrated places in time. The brand’s timeless Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Top design is its cornerstone silhouette that continues to inspire, and is aided by a range of low top styles including the Converse One Star.
Converse has for decades been the prominent sneaker brand of rock stars, artists and skaters alike, and has slowly but surely established its status across broader fields in recent years, continuing to retain its relevance. The unisex sneaker brand is famed for its Chuck Taylor All Star hi top shoe, which is supported by a number of styles including the Converse One Star, and the platform outsole style. The Chuck Taylor All Star is the highest-selling basketball shoe of all time, and existed in its early days as the most popular sneaker for Americans.
At this point in time, it is probably fair to say that every man and woman, boy and girl has a pair of Converse – if not Chuck Taylors – then another model, in their wardrobe. At least one pair. Without any doubt, Converse is one of the planet’s most-cherished brands, with a style that is without peer, although that certainly doesn’t mean that nobody has attempted to emulate the inimitable Converse style. Many have attempted, and many have failed, because Converse is not only about the aesthetic – as timeless as it is. No, Converse embraces a culture, and culture embraces Converse.
By the 1920s the Converse brand had created its first raft of All-Star shoes, and before long would be endorsed by baseball legend Chuck Taylor, who was happy to sport them on the field. Converse absolutely dominated the sneaker industry across America until the advent of leisurewear, as in 1957 four in every five sneaker-owners owned Converse. But it was with the advent of track and field-focused footwear in the 1970s that The Chuck Taylor All Star took a backseat from the mainstream and became what it is respected for in contemporary life. Converse found itself the darling of a counterculture that would not give up its favourite shoe amid new competition and new temptations, owed to its genuine legacy and its visual appeal, of course. The shoe quickly became popular with musicians and from then has never looked back in terms of its base market and its brand perception globally. The shoe has been spotted on every stage star from the Ramones to Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, and was massively important in crafting the identity of 90s pop-punk. The Converse shoe, high top and low top, became an emblem of rebellion in a period where the alternative was technology-focused, high-octane sportswear with a heavy focus on sporting improvement over visuals. But the laid back style was the brand’s saving grace, as many shunned advances in sports footwear and stuck with the timelessness of Converse for what it represented.
With the backstory steeped in cultural and musical history, it is totally impossible for other brands to bite the Converse style, because Converse is a phenomenon that extends long beyond just visuals, and into an entire story that the brand is rightfully hugely protective of and very proud of. Rather than fight the technology wave, Converse embraces its place in culture for what it is, allowing the brand to branch into experimental colour ways and prints, with LGBTQI+-themed styles with major efforts on inclusion and social change. At General Pants, we are so proud to stock a number of Converse styles in tons of finishes, including the timeless Chuck Taylor style and the One Star.