What makes the Converse Chuck Taylor the canvas of choice for collaborations is the simplicity of the silhouette. Some of the Converse Chuck Taylor collabs we’ve seen have comefrom designers and artists to rappers and cult streetwear brands. Here’s a look back at some of the finest reworkings of the sneaker in recent times. Not in any particular order, of course.
1) Feng Chen Wang
Chinese designer, Feng Chen Wang showed off possibly the most ambitious take on the Converse Chuck Taylor so far. Taking the silhouette apart and putting them back together in never-before-seen versions really thrust the entire collection into a different light.
2) Fear of God Essentials
Jerry Lorenzo definitely translated the look and feel of his minimal Fear of God Essentials range in this Converse collaboration. Muted colorways in black and off white were employed with equally unimposing co-branded heel tabs. The two-sneaker collection is a low-key flex and it goes a long way with all its simplicity.
3) Golf le Fleur
Tyler, The Creator’s Golf Le Fleur and Converse have had fire releases before. But nothing quite like this “Burlap” pack which captured the imagination of what a unique sneaker truly is. Yes, we’ve seen slip-ons dressed in this material before. On the Converse Chuck Taylor 70s though? Definitely a must-have.
4) Brain Dead
Brain Dead sure knows how to make the most out of a collaboration. The image you’re seeing above isn’t of four different sneakers. In fact, it’s a single pair of Converse Chuck Taylor 70s with four prints – one on either side of each sneaker. If that isn’t mind-blowing, we don’t know what is.
5) Midnight Studios
This collaboration is not as simple as it seems. We often see the inside of a sneaker when we’re checking the size before purchasing or just before we put them on. Midnight Studios, on the other hand, reimagines the Converse Chuck Taylor by flipping the uppers inside out. It even looks worn in straight from the box. Peculiar is an understatement but there’s definitely some artistic appeal to this. Besides, Converse looks so good worn in.
6) CDG Play
Call it a streetwear staple or an entry-level streetwear piece, the CDG Play x Converse collaboration sneaker is here to stay. Simple colorways paired with a simple heart-eyes logo on the side and you have a classic that’s noticeable from even a mile away.
7) Dr. Woo
Tattoo artist Dr. Woo undoubtedly knows a thing or two about the art of storytelling. His “wear to reveal” Converse collection speaks for itself: the more you wear these kicks, the more they reveal. Usually, sneakerheads buy into the story of the sneaker, but Dr. Woo’s vision sees the wearer telling a story of their own through wear and tear – not that these will end up looking like beaters in a shorter time. In fact, it actually has another layer of print beneath.
Arguably the most sought after of the lot, the original Off-White x Converse Chuck 70 has to appear on this list. There’s no question that Virgil Abloh’s signature touches such as the quotation marks, zip-tie and the deconstructed appearance have its way of driving up the hype.
9) JW Anderson
The signature JW Anderson aesthetic often presents bold renditions and that’s what we get in this collaboration. This Converse Chuck Taylor receives the glossy patent leather treatment on its uppers in bold contrasting tones, paired with oversized, fuzzy laces. If anything, these are a statement piece for your feet.
It’s impossible for Yoon and Ambush’s collaboration with Converse to be left out of the list. Dressed in a clean white colorway, this military-inspired iteration turns back time to the days when Converse used to produce winter boots for the US military. Surely a unique rendering that will hold its own in the history of all Converse Chuck Taylor collabs.
11) Chinatown Market
From a design standpoint, there’s no doubt Chinatown Market has a playful sense of humor. But this creative collaboration with Converse certainly calls for praise by introducing a mix of bold colorways that are only activated when exposed to UV light.
Undercover’s punk-influenced ideals meet its perfect match in the form of the Chuck Taylors. For this camo-infused pair, it seems a viable alternative to high-top boots for gigs featuring an easy-to-wear zipper lacing system complete with a trendy pre-worn look. One thing’s for sure, you’ll never have to worry about keeping these clean.
For the love of sun, surf, and skate, the Converse x Stussy collaboration for the iconic streetwear brand’s 35th anniversary is one to remember. You can say the intricate surf-inspired patterns on the canvas uppers add a familiar vibe. But if these came with just the Stussy label on the tongue, fans would likely be satisfied, nonetheless.
14) Sacai and Fragment Design
Sacai’s familiar doubled elements may be missing in this iteration, but doubling up on the collaboration – with Fragment Design, no less – certainly makes up for it. The all-out text branding says enough but certainly, there’s no harm having more of the famous thunderbolt logo on the iconic sneaker’s rear.
15) Colette and Club 75
Call the Chuck Taylors the poster kicks for celebrations, if you’d like. Because for this particular collaboration, the sneaker is the party. Coinciding with the legendary Colette’s 20th anniversary and the second birthday of Parisian streetwear brand Club 75, this special edition pack – collectively draped in the colors of the French flag – seems a fitting celebration for the established and the emerging in Paris at the time.
There’s a version of Chuck Taylors for everything it seems. For Neighbourhood, it’s about making this icon the perfect kicks for motorcycle enthusiasts. It’s a mean pair that’s also functional and comfortable.
17) Wacko Maria and Invincible
Converse Chuck Taylor collabs tend to feature obvious co-branding that, at the very least, gets slapped on the tongue label. But not this one. Taiwan’s Invincible and Japanese label Wacko Maria both stripped their names off the exterior to allow the wild animal print to take center stage. And it certainly did.
Converse’s Chuck Taylor II may have been short-lived, but the eye-catching collaboration with legendary New York artist Futura surely deserves a mention. The 2016 pair features an irresistible abstract illustration, dubbed “Skyfall”. And thanks to its reflective details, the skies lit up one final time before its fall.
Any worthy Converse Chuck Taylor collabs we missed out on the list? Let us know in the comments below.