Many associate Converse with the Chuck Taylor, but the Boston-based brand has a rich heritage aside from the iconic sneaker. Celebrating its heritage — and ushering in a new era of technology — is the All Star Modern.
The brand will release the All Star Modern, an updated iteration of a basketball shoe from 1920, on June 16. The shoe will be available in high-top ($140) and oxford ($130) iterations in five colorways: black, action red, lucid green, soar blue and white.
Although the shoe boasts a classic look, its selling point is its updated technology — especially its Nike Hyperfuse construction — abandoning traditional stitching and gluing to piece it together. The process — in conjunction with a circular knit upper, TPU-fused overlaid toe cap, and neoprene split tongue and lining — dropped the shoe’s weight and made it more durable.
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But Converse incorporating Nike technology into its silhouettes isn’t new; the Chuck II, which debuted last July, features Nike’s Lunarlon cushioning. And its relationship with Nike — Converse’s parent company since 2003 — will become more prevalent in its footwear, with the brand confirming multiple silhouettes using technology from the Swoosh would arrive in stores this summer — aside from its iconic Chuck Taylor.
Bryan Cioffi, Converse’s VP and creative director of global footwear, told Footwear News that he thinks Nike technology gives the brand an unparalleled advantage over its competition.
“To take the best of current, modern standards of manufacturing and wrap that in timeless design ethos, it’s a unique proposition,” he said. “I don’t think any footwear company could do it the way we can.”
And having Nike’s technology at its disposal isn’t the only way Converse is benefitting from the relationship.
The brand is also releasing two colorways of an HTM-designed limited edition high top iteration of the All Star Modern, the first non-Nike shoe designed by the famed trio of Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tinker Hatfield and Mark Parker. The All Star Modern HTM arrives Thursday with a $180 retail price at NikeLab stores worldwide and via nikelab.com.
Although Converse has the ability to use Nike’s technology, Cioffi insisted it wouldn’t use what Nike has to offer on just any release because it can.
“The plan is to have it as a part of the tool kit, and we’ll use it where it best serves the product. Wherever we could find the most innovative, best way to build a high quality product, that’s where we’ll use it,” he said. “It serves the consumer, but it’s not extremely overt, and it’s not a gimmick. It’s getting you fundamentally a better product.”