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!