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.
A new brand for us, Seattle’s CMRTYZ (say each letter) operates in a downtown loft right around the corner from where Nirvana used to play. That would be about one mile south of Nordstrom headquarters. Because we’re 100% in love with CMRTYZ’s punk concert-poster aesthetic,which gets a streetwear twist in our exclusive mini collection of hockey jerseys and T-shirts, we dropped by the studio to learn more about designers CMR (Carlos Michael Ruiz) and TYZ (Ty Ziskis).
Inside, we found artwork and silkscreens on the floor and local punk band So Pitted carefully “hole-ing,” ripping holes in T-shirts for decoration. It made us laugh, looked cool and the band getting paid (“We’re huge fans,” said Ziskis) was a clear example of CMRTYZ’s ethos: support the scene that inspires you.
Nordstrom isn’t carrying CMRTYZ’s hole-y stuff. But there is a rough/degraded quality to our jerseys and tees due to Ruiz’s hand-drawn comics-style illustrations, quick cutouts and images processed via photocopier.
Check our interview below to learn about life-changing album art, how to make a bad impression during a business deal and what happens when the punks take marketing jobs–all filtered through Ruiz’s unique hand-style.
Maybe you’re nervous about wearing a printed thing. Maybe your thoughts are along the lines of:
It’s too loud. It’s too much.
We hear you. But if you allow yourself to get into print gradually, by wearing a printed backpack or holding a bag with some attention-grabbing graphics, you’ll quickly realize everybody makes some favorable comment about your printed thing. And why? Because most men dress incredibly boringly.
And here you are saying something. The fact that you are saying anything at all makes you front page news.
As for what to say–which printed pattern and where you’ll sport it on your person–that will come to you once you’ve got your mind right.
We’re here to help. Get into the wild world of print with our Men’s Shop video, below.
Perhaps it’s been a second, or even a hot minute, since you looked into our offerings at the corner of athletics + leisure.
You know: athleisure.
Please allow us to guide you to The Rail, where the category is well-represented. We suggest paying special attention to the Nike SB Stefan Janoski Maxes, seen above, as well as everything camo and floral. Trust us: this is the summer of camo and floral.
Links to a few choice picks are below. Below that, the rest of our photo session with our guy Ben Randolph, seen here flexing in his SBs.
Especially when it’s hot out, we’re wearing white/bleached/blown-out colors. And as always, comfort is a must. To those ends, this sunny season, catch us in a crisp Zanerobe shirt and/or a pair of the Australian brand’s jeans, jogger pants or shorts.
That’ll be us at BBQs and on OPBs (other people’s boats), Zan-ed up, Zan-ed out, bumping Soulja Boy’s “Zan With That Lean.”
We’re loving the whole slouchy-yet-clean aesthetic.
One more note about Zanerobe shorts: we’ll have the “Sureshot” chino in heavy rotation for a few months, here. But we keep eyeing those perforated leather joints, as well–seen above and linked below–thinking maybe this is the year we lace ourselves with luxury shorts.
These five denim washes/styles are perfect for right now–distressed, white wash, dark slim, bleached gray and black skinny. Here they are contextualized in five different outfits, shot at our own Studio N.
Consider this all FYI (for your inspiration). For more complete looks, hit this link.