SNEAKER STARFriday, June 13, 2014
(Photo: Corbis Images via BBC Culture)
"As one of the most democratic – and omnipresent – footwear icons of American pop culture, with fans ranging from young skater dudes and grungy rockers to Michelle Obama, Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Star boasts as colourful a history as the brand’s rainbow range of shoes. A masterpiece of utilitarian design, with its sleek lines and textured contrast of canvas and vulcanized rubber, the trainer’s black-and-white beginnings were rooted in basketball.
Founded in 1908 by Marquis Mills Converse in Malden, Massachusetts, the Converse Rubber Shoe Company started out as a specialist in winterised rubber-soled shoes and boots. Within a few years, the firm had branched out into the athletic footwear market, at first targeting sports such as tennis, netball and football (at the time, Spalding had the basketball beat covered). Its first basketball shoe, the Converse All Star, was released in 1917, although the man behind its success – Charles ‘Chuck’ H Taylor – was to enter the picture a few years later."
Read more at BBC Culture