Monday, October 26, 2009

Tomorrow Converse will still be popular

In 1917 Marquis M. Converse must have been awfully chuffed when basketball star, Charles H. Taylor, or ‘Chuck’, walked into his shoe store – Converse Rubber Shoe Company – and complained about sore feet. Chuck was given a job as an ambassador for the company, enthusiastically promoting Converse shoes around the United States. He did this until he died in 1969. There’s nothing to get sales up like a star sporting the shoe and Converse’s ‘Red Chuck Taylor’ shoe has become iconic for the brand – the traditional red canvas takkie.

Somewhere in between 1917 and 2009 the shoe become widely popular amongst the alternative crowd. Your Nirvana-grunge-rock-out uniform is incomplete without All Stars. While such artistic individuals pride themselves on their ‘alternative’ appearance, deviating from ‘jock’ brands, it appears that some Converse-lovers are guilty of simply conforming to another sub-culture. In some instances (generally a huddle of grade ten ‘emos’ standing outside Doors Night Club, wondering whose fake ID will do the job) I equate the flock of Converse pairs with the ‘jock’ mandatory Lacoste.

Granted, the shoe is comfortable. Granted, the shoe’s look is a classic. Not granted, the shoe’s a substitute for limited music knowledge and ticket to Indie-rock moshing.

Despite the popularity of the ‘Chuck Taylor’ model, Converse has re-vamped, coming out with a few striking styles, such as ‘The Weapon’ and later, ‘The Loaded Weapon’. It’s sad that these show little resemblance to the time-less original, but fortunately Converse still manufactures ‘Chuck Taylor’ and is likely to do so for a while.

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