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America’s Original Sport Company
Converse sneakers got their start in 1908, when founder Marquis M. Converse opened up shop in Malden, Massachusetts. As one of the oldest footwear & apparel companies in the United States, Converse’s claim to be “America’s original sports company” definitely holds up. While many Converse fans think of the ’70s and ’80s when they hear the name Converse, this time period is just a fraction of the rich history behind the brand. Over time, Converse released hundreds of new and exciting models, some built to mimic their classics and others to advance and innovate their long-standing technology. Shoes like the One Star, Roadstar, and Jack Purcell’s badminton sneaker of the same name have been key pieces of the brand’s development, but after all these years, one silhouette still stands above them all as the most important.
A Colorful Rise to Glory
Converse is best known for their Chuck Taylor All-Star silhouette, first introduced as a basketball sneaker in 1917. Although it would not receive the “Chuck Taylor” moniker until 1923, the All-Star took off in popularity due to its impressive performance features. Constructed from canvas, the upper was sturdy yet flexible in a way that leather basketball sneakers could never match. The vulcanized rubber midsole and accompanying toe cap provided a much-needed cushioning and protection on the court. The Chuck Taylor’s forward-thinking tech and stylish looks helped propel Converse into a household name. When the 1970’s rolled around, Converse were sporting royalty. By now, the Chuck Taylor All-Star had made quite the name for itself, mostly by taking over cultural moments like the first Olympic Basketball game in 1936, when each Team USA member was outfitted with a pair, or the first-ever NCAA basketball championship in 1939, when both Oregon and Ohio State were decked out in Chucks. As the ‘70s rolled around, the shoe was in its prime, so Converse decided to go for broke, offering up dozens of new color and material options, making the All-Star the icon we know today.
The Originators of Influencer Marketing
Simple design and all-day comfort have made Converse a powerhouse in the footwear world for over one hundred years, eventually becoming a fixture in pop culture. The Chuck Taylor and Jack Purcell silhouettes were among the first athletic shoes to be popularized for everyday wear due to their legendary namesakes. The shoes’ fame was further spurred as they appeared on the feet of nearly every famous celebrity in the last six decades. The ever-expanding list of unintentional influencers includes James Dean, Elvis Presley, The Ramones, Madonna, Kurt Cobain, and Beyoncé. These days, Converse utilizes collaborations with creative individuals to help market their sneakers, recently with signature colorways from Tyler, the Creator, Miley Cyrus, and Vince Staples. With decade after decade of endorsement from celebrities, Converse has secured themselves as one of the most important sneaker brands of and kids!