How did Converse reinvent a classic sneaker?

Leave it to Martin Margiela to implement a design concept that involves white paint, because that’s just what the designer used in his new partnership with sneaker maker Converse. While our minds are already fixated on a DIY version of this design, we’ll advance the plot.

Sneaker prior to being worn; Photo courtesy of Converse

Freshly coated sneakers; photo courtesy of Converse

For those unfamiliar, Martin Margiela is an avant-garde Belgian fashion designer who runs his own fashion house in Paris, Maison Martin Margiela, and who is well-known among the well-heeled. With a focus on transformation and reinterpretation, Margiela has found a willing bedfellow in Converse—whose philosophy involves being a platform for creativity.

Photo courtesy of Converse

Chuck Taylor All Star getting a coat of paint; photo courtesy of Converse

Featuring two iconic Converse styles, the 1970s Chuck Taylor All Star and Jack Purcell, the design dialogue occurs between the bold colored canvas of the sneaker and clean paint. The more the sneakers are worn, the more their personality and color are revealed. "The Maison has always been obsessed with white; it is used as a layer to give an incognito feeling. A sort of poetry, with the passage of time, the shoe asserts itself," says Margiela.

Photo courtesy of Converse

Surface of sneaker after it’s been worn; photo courtesy of Converse

The styles are available in four colorways based on heritage colors from the Converse archives: red, black, navy, and Margiela-exclusive vintage yellow, and are lined in premium off-white leather. The sneakers will be available for purchase globally in September at Margiela stores and at select Converse First String retailers with a suggested retail of $200.