When he’s not busy designing elaborate, haute couture-worthy menswear at Dior, Kim Jones is on a string of blockbuster sneakers. Following the massive success of his Air Dior Jordans, which won the grand opening, the designer created a series of hits with Nike, including, in conjunction with Nike’s Air Max Day, an Air Max 95 duo.
Now Jones is moving on to another basketball classic: the Converse Chuck Taylor.
Alongside the Air Max 95, the Chucks were a part of Jones’ regular rotation growing up, through countless trends and phases. And like a true sneakerhead, he doesn’t want that to change too much. “I don’t want to ruin a design classic,” he says. “I would just like to add something.”
His performance on the Chuck 70 takes great care to keep what works. The silhouette is unchanged. There are no unexpected colourways – just black and white. The fabric is the usual sturdy cotton canvas. Chuck Taylor’s DNA has remained intact. All of this is in keeping with his way of thinking: as an “evolutionary designer, not revolutionary”. But what is Jones possesses changed is not so subtle. The usual straight-edged rubber sidewall has been sculpted into biomorphic lines that ungulate on the side of the shoe and push upward on the heel, giving it the illusion of a platform shoe. The lacing system is also integrated into a translucent TPU panel, grafted onto the top of the shoe, like a protective case.
“You look at a very classic shoe versus a very futuristic shoe, then you bring the future into the classic and then you make the future shoe more technological,” he says. That’s an apt description, if it obscures what’s really going on here: If the Chuck Taylor is the sneaker iPhone, Jones didn’t redesign the sneaker so much as he installed a designer phone case. It’s a push-pull that preserves a design classic while ensuring its relevance for generations to come.
He cited a somewhat unusual desire in the sneaker world: to avoid doing something that’s trendy and instead wanting to do something timeless. The whole point of something like the Chuck Taylor, he explains, is its longevity.
“They have been around for decades. So that they job. When you work with something that has been around for so long, you know it works. “
Converse, shortly before the pandemic, hosted a PR event with a physical timeline highlighting the evolution of Chuck Taylor throughout his century. It was like watching a time-lapse of daily self-portraits taken over the course of a lifetime. The shoe had slowly changed, but the final frame was essentially the same as the first. This version will not redirect Chuck Taylor’s course. But that is not aimed either.
The Converse x Kim Jones collection will be released on April 8 at Converse.com and select retailers.
You Can Read Also :