WEST COAST STORY: Converse’s love for Los Angeles continues as it revealed new collaborations with four area streetwear brands.
The Boston-based footwear firm, part of Nike Inc. and known for its Chuck Taylors and roots in sports, has been on a collaboration tear recently with links between itself and Dr. Woo, the tattoo artist famous for his single-needle work; Long Beach rapper Vince Staples; and Los Angeles brand Born x Raised. The company also more recently set out to boost its apparel offering with moves in the premium space starting in December.
The collaborations unveiled Wednesday evening continue that momentum and a desire to tap the L.A. market for new inspiration as the wave of artists, fashion brands and corporations continue to flock to the city, and downtown more specifically.
“It’s like a cultural explosion,” Matt Sleep, Converse global design director for footwear special projects, said of what’s happening within Los Angeles. “I see a certain sense of pride in different groups. They’ve grown up with sports culture, which is obviously burgeoning, and you see a lot more sport influence in fashion today. It’s a mix and proliferation of those things together and the time is really now for Los Angeles.”
The company took over space in downtown’s Arts District to preview part of its latest collaborations with skate shop Babylon, streetwear retailer RSVP Gallery and streetwear labels Clot and Rokit, all of Los Angeles. Each brand put new spins on Converse classic footwear in addition to apparel.
“For me, it’s kind of the power of creativity. We’re a brand through the East Coast as seen through a West Coast lens,” Sleep said of what’s to be released to the market.
Pricing ranges from $45 T-shirts to $150 tracksuits. Footwear within the collection – which retool the Converse Fastbreak, Chuck Taylor and One Star Court Classic — are priced from $110 to $120.
The collection goes on sale worldwide beginning Saturday at Babylon, RSVP Gallery, Juice, Union Los Angeles and other select retailers in addition to Converse’s online shop.