Converse is no stranger to musician collaborations, having joined forces with everyone from Nirvana to ACDC to Metallica over the years. Now the iconic brand has teamed up with Black Sabbath to bow a collection of five designs based on its classic Chuck Taylor All-Stars.
Love ’em or hate ’em, you can’t deny the versatility of a good pair of sneakers. Make no mistake: We’re not talking about your dad’s old white New Balance runners. We mean sick kicks that can be dressed up for work and down for an easy night out. And we’re not the only fans. Global information company NPD Group reports that athletic footwear sales increased 1 percent from January to August 2013, compared to the year-ago period.
Starting with the original Converse Chuck Taylor All Star from 1917 and culminating with Nike’s 2013 camo-print Kobe 8 System, A Visual Compendium of Sneakers hits sneaker high notes of the past century. “We cobbled together an assortment that not only illustrates the evolution of shoe design and technological advancements, but that also represents some of the most sought after styles in sneaker history,” says Rachel Mansfield, director of marketing for Pop Chart Lab, a Brooklyn-based company that turns cultural data into graphic prints.
Fashion blogger The Man Repeller (aka Leandra Medine) has partnered with Superga on a collection of cool kicks for fall. True to the blogger’s quirky flair, each pair comes with a set of longer laces to tie around the ankle a la Medine herself. From a velvet hi-top ($145) to a metallic boucle lo-top ($140), this isn’t your run-of-the-mill sneaker collaboration.
Night runners everywhere rejoice! No longer shall you drape yourselves in reflective jackets and vests. And for those of us who use the pending sundown as an excuse to get out of jogging with friends (you know you are) the end is nigh. Vibram has debuted a concept sneaker with built-in LEDs that project light on the ground and can be switched between three brightness settings. A flashing red tail light provides added visibility.
Generic Surplus founder Brandon Day and creative director Greg Chapman celebrated the launch of their brand’s fall collection on Wednesday at Blind Barber in New York. The speakeasy setting of the East Village bar perfectly accented the understated sophistication of the design duo’s LA kicks. Taking a cue from the “generic” aesthetic of the brand, the collection was displayed with a nod to urban landscape and modernism in a minimalist style.
French starchitect Jean Nouvel has added another notch to his design belt with Pure, a capsule collection of sneakers in collaboration with Italian label Ruco Line. Available in black, white, yellow and fuschia, each minimalist shoe ($430) is lined in calf leather with a 50-mm rubber outsole. The only detail on its surface is a printed stamp with its style and color code, product name and production date. As Nouvel explains, “The aim was to get a form that could wrap the foot completely.”
When Chinese-born, France-based brand Feiyue (“flying forward”) landed its kids’ kicks on U.S. soil last year it had an inkling the scaled-down sneakers would be a hit. After all, actions speak louder than words and since the line was lifted from relative obscurity in 2006 the children’s collection represents 8 percent of its global turnover. “Colorful designs and accessible prices make the range very attractive for buyers,” says Cynthia Pelletier, the brand’s North American sales manager.
Self magazine readers have answered the age-old question– what sneaker should one wear when working out?
The women’s magazine sent 421 pairs of sneakers to 200 readers who ranked the shoes after a month of running, kickboxing, Zumba and workout DVDs. Twenty-four sneakers were standouts following 5,845 miles of running, 400 fitness classes and 648 hours of strength training as part of the first Self Sneaker Awards.