For the next decade, they continued to play around with the high top design until a semi-pro basketballer Charles “Chuck” Taylor joined the team as a part time salesman. Taylor helped redesign the shoe we know today as the Chuck Taylor All Star. Only a few years later in 1926, Chuck Taylor becomes the player manager of The Converse Allstars basketball team, created and sponsored entirely by the Converse brand to help bring it’s footwear o the forefront of the media.
By 1932, Chuck was smashing it. He travelled across the US promoting the footwear, promoting the brand to relaunch their logo with his name on it – the same one we still see on our Converse today.
- Converse All Stars were chosen by the US military as the official athletic shoe used by the armed forces during training during World War II.
- Converse All Starts were he official USA Olympic team basketball shoe until 1968.
- By the end of 2000, Converse had sold over 600 million pairs of All Stars.
It wasn’t until the 1960s when Converse began to break away from the basketball trainer label and became part of our day to day fashion. Some of the biggest celebrities of the era were spotted in Converse, such as Elvis Presely and James Dean.
The 60s was also the decade they first began to experiment with a low top design. It wasn’t until 1974 that the One Star was released, but sadly, it only lasted a year due to lack of interest and people still favouring the high top.
The popularity of the high top continued to grow, with icons of the 70s such as the Sex Pistols and The Ramones wearing them for gigs and public appearances. This helped to bring along the Converse cult following we all know today.
In 1985, Michael Jordan released the Air Jordan with Nike, which although had it’s own controversies at the time, was the first step to the end of Converse’s reign over basketball footwear. They managed to cling on until the 90s with some players still favouring the Converse, but by 1991 it was clear that the future for Converse was in fashion, in particular “alt” fashion. The shoe continued to be worn by musicians, with this decade seeing everyone from Kurt Cobain to Ice Cube sporting the shoe.
Unfortunately, the musical promotions just weren’t on par with the basketball, and in 2001 Converse filed for bankruptcy. Thankfully, long time rival Nike acquires Converse for a whopping $305 million, allowing them to continue their drive to be one of the leading brands in lifestyle footwear.
Since then, Converse have branded themselves as the every day must have trainer, targeting a broader audience and age range than ever before. Their success lies in many of their basic staple low and high tops in the traditional black and white, but they have also gone on to do a number of huge collaborations. Just a handful of some of their best pairings include; GAP, Super Mario, Comme de Garcons, Missoni, Coca Cola and of course, Jordan.
Today, Converse continues to bring fashion forward collaborations to the masses, whilst still being one of the top and longest standing lifestyle footwear brands of our time. From infants to seniors, high tops to low tops, Converse has something for everyone.
Discover your favourite Converse today.