Turning a classic on its head — or inside out rather — was what Midnight Studios’ Shane Gonzales had in mind for his collaboration with Converse.
The young designer celebrated the collaboration’s launch Wednesday evening with a party at the streetwear boutique Bodega in downtown Los Angeles.
“We selected the Chuck Taylor 70 because it’s my favorite Converse at the moment and then the One Star for skateboarding and music history,” Gonzales said. “The whole concept behind it is taking the interior and showcasing it on the exterior. We just put the shoe inside out. It’s pretty simple, minimal. We didn’t add too much branding on it.”
Gonzales, who started his line in 2014 at the age of 19, took design elements such as the shoes’ duty tags, typically on the inside of the tongue, or the player’s tag for the Chuck 70 and placed them on the outside of the shoe against a greige colorway. The shoelaces bear the Converse and Midnight Studios logos, along with production details.
The sneakers are set for release Friday on the Converse web site alongside a few retailers and will sell for $110 to $120.
Gonzales has steadily turned heads with his label, collaborating with companies such as Off-White and Guess in addition to the band Bauhaus. The label’s roster of stockists includes RSVP Gallery, Union, 424, Patron of the New, Black Market, Juice, End and Slam Jam, along with e-tailers such as Revolve Man and Ssense.
Gonzales still works out of his three-bedroom Hollywood apartment where he said he’s most comfortable, dedicating two of the rooms there for the line.
Up next is a collaboration with the Sex Pistols set to launch June 26 at Selfridges before rolling out to Los Angeles and then the rest of the world.
“I take a lot of photos of people I just run across in the street and base designs off of what I see,” he said. “Everything’s based off of music history as far as themes.”
And despite being dubbed part of the myriad of high-end streetwear brands that have sprouted across the landscape, Gonzales is a bit uncomfortable with the label’s limitations.
“I’m kind of weird about the term streetwear,” he said. “I guess it’s considered streetwear, but sometimes the price is more elevated contemporary men’s wear. We’re trying to branch out of the streetwear category to more respected men’s wear with better garments and take it to another level than just T-shirts and hoodies.”