The company was launched in 1908 by Marquis Mills in Malden, Massachusets as ‘Converse Rubber Shoe Company’, specializing in winterproof rubber-soled footwear. Just two years later, Converse had begun manufacturing shoes daily. In 1915, the company switched focus to creating athletic shoes. In 1917 Converse released the All Star basketball shoe. The typical squeak came into play through this shoe.
In 1921 the professional basketball player Charles H. “Chuck” Taylor complained to the Converse sales office about having sore feet and persuaded the company to create a line of shoes designed purely for basketball, on the condition that he would also work as a salesman and promoter of the new All Star sneaker.
Chuck Taylor traveled across the country promoting the All Stars, creating such an impact that the sneaker was later renamed after him and his signature added on either side of the logo. By the 1930s, the All Star was being worn by basketball players throughout America thanks to the influence of Chuck Taylor.
Having dominated the basketball sneaker market for over 30 years, the Chuck Taylor All Star made a cultural shift and became prevalent in the music scene in the 80s and 90s. You could find them laced up on the feet of some of the biggest hip hop MCs and rockers in the world, including Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Wiz Khalifa, The Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols and The Ramones.
The Chuck Taylor All Star represented so many different styles and was adapted by so many subcultures. Even today, Chucks have maintained their appeal after 100 years and their influence is unlike any other shoe.
At the height of the 70s, low cut profiles were the kicks of choice. With basketball embedded in the DNA of Converse, the One Star and Cons (both originally built for the courts), transitioned to the soles of skaters worldwide.
From music producers and artists to fashion designers and more, over the years Converse has collaborated with likeminded creatives to produce limited-edition collections. Some of Converse’s collaboration partners include GOLF le FLEUR*, Neighbourhood, Kith, Hello Kitty, Comme des Garçons and J.W. Anderson.
Converse drops new collaborations every month across a range of different categories and us at RAW Looks are trying to curate such limited editions besides the all time classics.