Redesigning the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is a risky proposition. We’re talking about the most classic American sneaker, whose design has gone relatively untouched since 1917. A true shoe of the people.
Think about it. Which other garment is worn by young and old folks alike so prevalently? And in various stages of pristine or tattered? Chucks are like Levi’s 501s for your feet.
And yet: Converse designer Damion Silver was faced with a problem. Foot fatigue was an issue. Especially if you’re trying to wear them every day, All Stars have always been a little hard on your dogs.
EnterLunarlon, Nike cushioning technology.
That’s just one way Silver–a visual artist who shows his own paintings at galleries all over the world–created the Chuck II, a stellar and more comfortable sequel to Chuck Taylor All Star.
We spoke with Silver on the phone at Converse headquarters in Boston proper about shoveling snow, his unrealistic fantasy of one day skateboarding on a frozen golf course–and the pressures of redesigning the brand’s #1 seller worldwide.
Did you catch The New York Times’s feature on Vineyard Vines? The brand which “takes leisurewear to a colorful new dimension” and which writer Jon Caramanica gave the LOL-worthy distinction of being “the sea assault to L.L. Bean’s land war”?
Below you will find our instructional video, How to Modernize Your Suit. Its raison d’être is to get you into the mindset that your suit is a versatile investment. Freak it like this; freak it like that. Your suit is not one outfit. Rather, it contains multitudes.
So we encourage you: Do not let your suit accrue dust in the closet. Do rock it with a sweatshirt and sneakers.
More styling ideas–as well as some guidelines about fit:
What would Don Draper do? Careful down that road. You might end up wasted, fired or worse.
But what would Don Draper wear? Better question.
The enigmatic and pathological main character of AMC’s Mad Men TV show dresses sharp, with a “classic gentleman” look built on straightforward ties, tan car coats, oxfords or derby shoes–and when stepping out: black tuxedo.
To really get in touch with Draper’s style, remember consistency is key. Pretty much the only change in his wardrobe as Mad Men arced from the 1960s to the 1970s was that he started wearing more stripes.
The Sneaker Project is a curated selection of sneakers handpicked by our buyers, and forgive our immodesty here, but it rules. Twice a year we give it an extra dimension with atmospheric videos shot in various cities. We pick a sneaker enthusiast and make them our tour guide. So far we’ve profiled Seattle, New York and now Los Angeles.
Our L.A. video was made by and stars Dan Regan and his actor friend Spencer Lofranco. Regan is a downtown L.A. dweller and Venice neighborhood local, an artist/photographer/director we admire–someone whose professional title could probably be something nebulous like “creative strategist and digital fathomer,” but that’s obnoxious and he’s not.
In fact, he’s pretty much the man for steering us away from #basicstuff in Venice and recommending a few crucial spots to chill and eat. Check out our Q&A and some behind-the-scenes snapshots below.
The star of all-star jam “FourFiveSeconds” is definitely Rihanna, singing hard and being a badass and crying, performing with Sir Paul McCartney and the current King of Pop, Kanye West. Not the first time McCartney has collaborated with the K.o.P., BTW.
But from a style POV? The star is Rihanna’s jean jacket and leather-belt-tied-like-a-tie combo. Kanye West did the styling, selecting vintage Sean Jean denim. Which means for all you retro trend watchers out there, it’s time dig up your late-’90s/turn-of-the-millennium hip-hop gear like Fubu and Karl Kani.
How should you shop our ongoing men’s sale, where drastic, half-off discounts abound? It’s about looking past the racks on racks on racks–and seeing what’s really present. At our flagship store, a salesperson advised a deep dive for AG denim: “It’s there if you look. It only goes on sale a few times per year, if that.”
Rare gems with commentary from a recent walk-through:
The best way to really get your money’s worth; make your wardrobe multitask. Here, Men’s Stylist Brenna Carlson schools us on five distinct and sharp looks for a casual jacket.
Field jackets are made to be tough. Utilizing a design honed over decades, designers put waxed canvas, corduroy and wool to task, shielding the wearer from elements on any adventure. I styled a Barbour jacket—an older, tougher version of your go-to leather jacket and a rugged complement to any wardrobe—for the office or a casual date, or really any occasion that needs a little edge.
Office Ready: Field jackets are always on standby for the weekend, but try switching out your weekday suit jacket for this unconventional topcoat alternative.
In the late ’70s, American men’s workwear was rugged and woolly, cut like military clothing but trimmer–it looked good and never fell apart. Today we call this fashion. In that vein, we salute brands that have stayed busy not fixing what wasn’t broken, like Filson and Pendleton. Images below are from the Nordstrom vaults. Links are there to help you find the modern counterparts.