Saturday, 6 June 2015

Style Icon: Converse All Star

As I was walking through my local shopping centre today I popped into Office in the hope they would have one of their great sales on and I could bag my self a bargain*, failing that I could drool over some beautiful shoes and imagine myself being able to walk in every single pair without my feet hurting at all! 

*a lot of my most loved footware over the years has been a bargain buy from an Office sale!

Unfortunately there was no sale and I had to settle for shoe longing instead, but as I left the store I spied some amazing Converse on display by the door.

How cool are these?!

Apparently Converse and fashion brand Missoni have collaborated to create a collection exclusive to Office, "Converse X Missoni". Apparently this collaboration has been going on since 2010?! Who knew?! 

The current range is priced from £69.99 to £84.99, you can view it here
I've got my eyes on these beauties...

I just love the colours of that iconic Missoni print, quirky but feminine!

I was actually already wearing my own, much loved, pair of Converse when I saw the collection, which got me thinking about what an iconic shoe the Converse has become. While I'm my third pair, I still have my first two pairs in my wardrobe! One is a pair of once black & pink low tops that are so battered and discoloured they are reserved for festival and gig wear only, I mean what's another beer stain really?! The other is a pair of the classic black high tops. I remember saving up for these when I was about 14/15 and going through my grungey faze. I was so happy to finally have saved enough money to buy a pair of Converse to call my own, I loved them and wore them constantly. I haven't worn them in probably 5+ years but I just can't bring myself to throw them away, they even have the beads I thread onto the laces back then!

We all know Converse as a fashion statement now, but The Converse Rubber Shoe Company launched the Converse All Star basketball shoe in 1917, but it was the version with the changes suggested by basketball player Chuck Taylor, "most notably the patch to protect the ankle"*, that became the icon that we know today. Although Chuck's name wasn't added to the product until the 1930s and the classic hi-top was only available in black until 1947.

Now you can by the Converse in a rainbow of colours, prints and fabrics; You can even buy 'own brand' versions of the sneakers in most high street retailers. I think the reason they've become such an iconic style is their versatility. They're easy to throw on with a pair of jeans, even with a dress or skirt for a cute skater girl look. They're comfy and easy to wear all day, god knows my pairs have seen some mileage! 

They also have a versatile look in that they can be worn by all types of people. They don't fit into an image stereotype the same way perhaps a pair of DM's do. They're not restricted to one "type" of fashion. They're collegic, rock and rap all mixed in one. People wear them in their own way, change the laces, draw on them and make them their own.  They've been worn by the biggests stars (Elvis Presley & Kurt Cobain anyone?!) and the everyday man, woman and child.

Not bad for a shoe that was simply designed for basketball!

Em x

*Quote from "Icons of Men's Style" by Josh Sims, page 80
*Image from "Icons of Men's Style" by Josh Sims, page 81