Everybody and their mom is familiar with Converse.
They’ve been around since the 1900’s and since then have become a staple shoe among people of all ages. Though Converse were already
known as iconic, Vans had became the choice shoe in the fashion world. Especially following the wave of high-end designers taking inspiration from skate culture. Vans were the trend. My Instagram feed was soon filled with “sk8-hi’s,” “old skools,” and the infamous checkerboard slip-ons. But as of 2017, I believe Converse has made a comeback and now reigns again as the top trending shoe through their creative collaborations and smart marketing.
Let’s begin with the collaborations. Throughout 2017-2018, Converse has released multiple collabs with brands ranging from the fashion world like, Off-White and J.W. Anderson, to skate culture, featuring names like, Sean Pablo and Illegal Civ, to even the music industry, with icons like Vince Staples and A$AP Nast. All those collabs have been sold out successes, but there’s one collaboration in particular that I believe was the turning point for Converse. That being Tyler the Creator’s Golf le Fleurs.
If you didn’t already know, Tyler the Creator had only ever been seen in Vans. His brand, Golf, even had a couple collaborations with them. Just like he unconsciously did with Supreme, Tyler made Vans popular among his die-hard fans. Fast-forward to 2017, Tyler
gets into a conflict with Vans and starts a new relationship with Converse. Together they release the Golf le Fleurs. They were in the style of “one stars” and originally came in four colorways. As expected, they sold out fast. Within hours, people had swapped their beloved Vans for a pair of Golf le Fleur one stars. And the ones who missed out or couldn’t afford it, bought regular “one stars” that gave off the same appeal as the Golf collab. Following that first success came four more rewarding Golf le fleur releases. I believe Converse’s decision to partner with not only Tyler, but many other celebrities with cult-like followings was smart on their part. Converse just had to sit and wait while the fans brought the business to them.
When Converse isn’t coming up with cool new shoe collaborations with celebrities, they’re getting them to endorse their products. While scrolling through Instagram, I’ve come across many of Converse’s ads that feature some of my favorite people. For instance, their ad with America’s favorite boyband: Brockhampton. To unveil a new
lookbook, Converse joined forces with Brockhampton in creating a collection of photos and video with the boys showing off the popular “one stars.” Besides the idea of wanting something your idol(s) support, the video they released was inspiring. After watching the short clip, I just wanted to blow all my money on a new pair of cons. Converse has also conducted a “Forever Chuck” campaign, in which, they made a series of videos with popular names like Sabrina Carpenter and Cole Sprouse explaining how they wear their Converse shoes. Converse’s recent efforts in marketing include a collection of photos on their Instagram called “All the Stories are True.”
It can be summed up as a mix of cheesy one sentence stories accompanied by photos of teenagers wearing their shoes. If the photos weren’t so nicely captured, the whole idea would’ve been deemed cringe. But, I think they succeeded based on the amount of likes and positive responses they recieved in the comments.
It’s evident that Converse has stepped up their marketing skills and has gained access into the fashion world. But, for how long? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if another brand shakes things up or if Vans decide to make their own comeback….
© 2018 Wisner