The Converse Hi-Top Revival
Converse shoes have always been hip thanks to their strong association with music, but now it seems trainers and hi-tops are making an official revival on the fashion scene.
Fashion journalists are reclaiming trainers. The classic hi-top shoe was big in the eighties but ridiculed in the nineties for its clumpy, chunky style epitomised by Melanie Griffith in the film Working Girl, power walking to the office in her trainers and suit. But now hi-tops are being restyled and shoes from classic labels like Converse are not just being spotted in the street but on the feet of celebrities and A-list stars.High End Hi-Tops
One of the reasons brands like Converse are making a high profile stir is brands and designers more associated with the red carpet than the high street are turning their attention to trainers. Converse is officially chic. Rihanna has been snapped wearing Nike hi-tops and the boss of the Jimmy Choo label, Tamara Mellon, is launching her own pair of hi-tops (although they come with the high-end price tag of £395 a pair).
Sports shoes are big not just for those who want to run a marathon but also on the catwalk. Increasingly, celebrities are joining forces with big brands like Adidas, Nike and Converse to launch exclusive designs. Converse for example has launched a music collection, collaborating with the likes of Blondie and The Clash.
The trainer is now back in prominence, thanks in part to a growing sense that women want more flat shoe options. The ballerina pump was a reaction to the clumpy trainers of the eighties, but uncomfortable to wear. The upscale trainer slot was begging to be embraced. And the fact that more women are embracing Converse hi-tops has also been credited to trends in menswear. The hi-top revival began with leading male designers collaborating with celebrities to create statement hi-tops such as Stephen Sprouse from Louis Vuitton and Kanye West. Chic Parisian designers have made the hi-top chic for men again. Associate editor of GQ Robert Johnston explained how to The Guardian: "They've moved them away from being a sort of ludicrous kids' shoe with Velcro and flashing lights in the sole. Now the hi-top, particularly in leather, is really substantial. Plus perhaps it is the ideal shoe for the man who doesn't really want to grow up."
Jude Law has been snapped in old-school Nike high tops, and women are embracing the new breed of trainers with brands like Converse making over their classic Chuck Taylor sneaker. Fashion trendsetters expect this year’s music festivals to be awash with bold hi-tops from big brands like Nike and Converse as ‘the look’ for the festival season.
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