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The List

 

Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars

 

Where do we start? These are iconic works of art that you wear on your feet, every day should you so desire, which has got to be cool.

It all started with Marquis Mills Converse, who, in 1908, founded the Converse Rubber Shoe Company after identifying that sport was something that allowed the ‘American Dream’ to become a reality for people of all backgrounds, no matter whether they were privileged and educated or not.

With this in mind, Converse produced the original basketball shoe in 1917, known as the ‘All Star’. This was followed by the recruitment of Chuck Taylor, the first basketball player endorser.   Chuck Taylor was a salesman by trade, as well as a basketball player, and was a representative for Converse All Stars for the next fifty years. That is, by today’s standards, an extremely long endorsement period. Chuck Taylor must have really loved and believed in the product.  

And no wonder - what a product to endorse. The Chuck Taylor All Star boot, of course, eventually became as popular off the basketball court as it had been on it. The shoe’s heyday was during the 1940s and 50s when it began to hold its own as a not only a fashion item, but as the only footwear to be seen in. It could be argued that it is also the only footwear to be seen in today, off the court of course.

These days shoes made for sport have a much more complex structure by necessity. The basketball court is now no home for the simplicity of the Chuck Taylor All Star.   These shoes’ enduring popularity is based on this simplicity as well as their adaptability, wearability, comfort, and, of course, affordability. They are beautiful to look at even strewn carelessly on the floor, with laces trailing, high-tops slouching. They go with everything and are effortlessly able to dress down and give an edge to an otherwise ‘safe’ look. Dr Who’s current metamorphosis, in the form of David Tennant, regularly sports a pair of white ‘Chucks’ and makes a brown pin-stripe suit and long wool coat look instantly up-to-date in the process.

These shoes have an unerring ability to imbue the wearer with a carefree cool that lesser shoes simply cannot. It is for this reason that Bonne Gauche believes that the Chuck Taylor Converse All Star is fully deserving of a place on The List (and would like to have a pair in every colour, please).   Here’s to one hundred years of the coolest shoe company in the world!





 
 

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