Tuesday, July 23, 2013

On pop culture: A great design that's always making a fashion statement

The Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneaker

In recent years, the colorful, unisex appeal of Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers has become quite noticeable, especially among teens and young, college-aged adults.

After all, great design never goes out of style. Sometimes, it just gets a little edgy and interactive.

I learned this first hand last week while perusing a Converse Store during a walk along Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, which houses the largest collection of Converse footwear (which includes Chuck Taylor All-Star and their companion sneaker Jack Purcell) and apparel in the world.

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers have come a long way since their basic black and white styles were once the elite footwear of choice for generations of basketball-playing Americans. Their popularity predates Adidas and Nike. In the 1970s, the iconic American punk rock band The Ramones gave the Converse brand a worldwide counterculture status. Other notables who've worn the Chuck Taylor All-Star brand include Kurt Cobain of grunge rock Nirvana fame and British actor David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, in the BBC television science fiction series Dr. Who.

Today, thanks to their casual appearance and variety of bright and vivid colors, the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers are a "must-have" for a new generation of sneaker wearers. While they are now known more for their vintage fashion appeal than their athletic use, there is still a "wow" factor and a casual sense of coolness attached to them.

At Converse's Third Street Promenade flagship store, you can even design your own creative, one-of-a-kind pair of All-Star kicks in what is billed as Converse Customization. Through the use of iPad technology and over 150 customization graphics, including collaborations with local Santa Monica artists, customers can channel their inner Jackson Pollack or Andy Warhol in expressing their own personal and artistic style -- from abstract expressionist to modern pop art.

The Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers remain a great design, always making a fashion statement.

Photograph of Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers by Michael Dickens, copyright 2013.

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