Often imitated but never bettered, Converse has been one of the leading pioneers in men’s fashion for over 100 years.
From skateboarders to embracing its ‘nerd culture’ fan base wholeheartedly, Converse has always been at the top of their game when it comes to reading what style their fans will be craving next.
History of Converse
In 1908, the first Converse rubber shoe company was opened, and just two years later began producing shoes daily. It wasn’t until 1915 however, that Converse began manufacturing athletic shoes, their first major market.
Wilt Chamberlain, one of the most famous basketball players of all time, became the only player to ever score over 100 points in one NBA game whilst wearing a pair of Chuck Taylors. More commonly known as ‘Chucks’, named after creator Charles H. Taylor, still today one of the most popular brands of Converse for both men and women.
The basketball scene didn’t continue to be a major market for Converse from the 1970’s, as more recognised sporting brands such as Puma, Adidas and Nike took over. But they didn’t buckle up and die once this happened, as they launched Converse as the major casual footwear across the world throughout the 80s and 90s.
After being acquired by Nike in 2003, Converse hasn’t looked bad, going from strength to strength and once again becoming the major market in casual footwear for both the American public and in a worldwide market.
Special editions are now a frequent of the Converse Market, with special editions being bought out to represent a number of musicians, TV-Shows, video games and even this year bringing out a special edition for this year’s Pride Month.
The other market Converse is a major player in is the skateboarding scene, sponsoring multiple skating competitions in the hope that it would help them become the main name in the skateboarding shoe scene, and its worked as the brand has become bigger than ever.
With the backing of Nike, could Converse be due a major return to NBA, or just continue to dominate the casual footwear market? Either way, after 110 years in business, it would be no surprise to still see Converse as a major player another 110 years down the line.
Written by Jack Stevens