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The Unusual Cultural Impact Of Converse Footwear

Updated on February 4, 2014

Feet come in all shapes and sizes, as well as the type of footwear we decide to place them inside. Yet some footwear brands find their name, designs and most famous features stepping well outside the shoe box they came in.

In a declaration to Converse’s staggering back catalogue, as well as the brands impact on society and their continual production of footwear, a budding bunch of admirers wished to celebrate Converse by not only wearing them but by exploring their entirety. From food and tattoos to constructions and art, Converse shoes have been portrayed in a whole manner of situations.

Paying A Painful Tribute To Converse

If you’re a keen follower of Converse’s movements then back in August 2013 you may have heard about the brands takeover of The Circle tattoo parlour on Soho’s Noel Street, London. Converse invited 60 brave fans down to the parlour giving each fan the opportunity to receive a rare and unique tattoo courtesy of world renown artists including Adrien Edek, Matt ‘Oddboy’ Barrett-Jones, Kamil Mocet and Frederick Reinel, for what price? Well for free. With many lucky fans embracing this once in a lifetime experience there was already one Converse fan that’s still probably nursing his All Stars inspired tattoo.

Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars Foot Tattoo

Foot tattoos are supposedly one of the most painful inks going, so how this Converse fan held his nerve is absolutely unbelievable, you also have to appreciate the skills that went into producing such a detailed tattoo. Its uncanny resemblance to the classic Chuck Taylor All Stars design is instantly recognisable. Every time he takes his shoes and socks off people are always going to know what his favourite footwear brand is.

Converse Charity Construction

Our eyes light up when small unassuming objects are blended together to create a much bigger picture, even more so when they represent iconic subjects and reference popular culture.The Canstruction Competition in NYC is a creative contest hosted around Thanksgiving. The aim is to involve notorious or up-and-coming designers to pitch their talents in the form of tin food cans, be it tuna, beans, plumed tomatoes or otherwise. Tins are firstly donated to the Canstruction cause and then all contributions go towards the City Harvest group to help feed New York’s homeless and less fortunate.

In 2011 meticulous efforts were made to recreate the famous Converse All Stars trainer. Using thousands of tins the designers tweaked, teased and assembled cans into the shape of the iconic Chuck Taylor, leaving no design element untouched, from its thick rubber sole, famous metal eyelets and Chuck Taylor badge emblem.

Sweet Converse Kicks

Saying that someone has 'sweet shoes' has never been more apt then this next example. These Converse Chuck Taylor Fondant Shoes are tasty depictions of the iconic All Stars sneaker. By using a steady hand, relevant icing colours and great baking skills these small Converse cakes are a neat and sweet replica of the classic All Stars.


These Converse fondant cakes can be found along with many other baking creations on lydiabakes Flickr. Lydia Grace exposes all her talented treats on Flickr and specialises in representing popular brands, objects, characters or subjects all in the form of cake decoration.

Converse Celebrating Street Art

Bringing creative artwork to grey redundant buildings can only be a good thing, especially when the artwork is completed by seasonal pros and it's soul intention is to brighten the atmosphere. The Converse 'Wall to Wall' campaign in 2011 stretched all over the land from Hong Kong to Germany. It's main aim was to get various different artists to decorate a blank canvas (the wall), each artist implemented their own unique style making every single piece different to the other. The only reoccurring theme is that the Converse label is etched onto every design without overpowering the main graphic, often being subtly slipped into the image using a stencil design.

This is a fantastic way for Converse to give something back to the city landscape as well as continuing the company's keen relationship with culture and society. Instead of using a high rising billboard advert Converse were thinking outside the box and took a creative route which can only be welcomed, who wouldn't want to see a spash of colour on a dull building? You can check out the mini videos of the Wall to Wall action via the Converse Wall to Wall youtube channel.

Although these four examples are all very different they all say something about the notoriety of the brand. From what was once a 1920s basketball boot, turned shoe for rebellious subcultures and more recently a fashion statement for trendy dressers, Converse has touched many hearts. With the brand continuing to involve themselves with musicians and artists there are sure to be many more collaborations and cultural shout outs to the legendary shoes!


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