Why ‘Stranger Things’ Star Gaten Matarazzo’s Emmys Sneakers Were More Than a Fashion Statement

At last night’s Primetime Emmy Awards, Gaten Matarazzo walked the red carpet in a cool pair of Converse kicks. But the black and white high-top sneakers were much more than just a fashion statement for the 16-year-old star.

On a mission to raise money and awareness for his CCD Smiles charity, Matarazzo had the shoes specially designed with the nonprofit’s name and smiling-face logo. CCD Smiles helps children with cleidocranial dysplasia, a rare genetic disorder that the actor himself has (and that has also been worked into his “Stranger Things” character Dustin’s storyline).

Gaten Matarazzo poses on the 2018 Emmy Awards red carpet.
CREDIT: David Fisher/Shutterstock

The disorder primarily affects the development of the bones and teeth. Matarazzo — who also stars in TV commercials for Verizon Fios — was born without collarbones, had to undergo several surgeries and now wears dentures due to missing teeth.

In an interview with the “Today” show ahead of the Emmys, Matarazzo shared his plans to wear the special shoes. “I’m super-, super-stoked to dress up, [and] I’m actually going to be wearing sneakers with my suit. [I’m doing this] for my charity organization that helps people with cleidocranial dysplasia afford the medical procedures they need to have done because of the condition,” he explained. “I’m very, very excited that I’ll be wearing these, representing my organization at the Emmys.”

A closer look at Matarazzo’s Converse shoes.
CREDIT: Richard Shotwell/Shutterstock

Matarazzo paired his custom Chuck Taylors with a very dapper head-to-toe look by Dolce & Gabbana that featured a mustard-colored velvet tuxedo jacket, black bow tie, white button-down shirt and black brocade trousers. He added a little fashion flourish with a lapel pin.

Matarazzo (R) goofs around with “Stranger Things” co-star Noah Schnapp.
CREDIT: Richard Shotwell/Shutterstock

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