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Converse Counter Climate Chuck Ii Blog 155
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Fragment X Converse One Star 74 Collection5
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All Star Modern Web Feature
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2016 Highlight Reel: Converse

Date: December 29 2016

By: Rob Marfell

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Converse are a company steeped in tradition, with their flagship shoes ranking as among some of the most ubiquitous on the planet. However, the brand also know that being informed by a legacy doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be defined by it – and their 2016 product offerings illustrate that mentality succinctly. This year we saw modern tech applied to beloved favourites, elemental upgrades and covetable colabs – come with us we recap the highlights from the Boston-based all stars.

Fragment One Star

Converse

Fragment x Converse One Star

Fragment X Converse One Star 74 Collection4

Fragment's Hiroshi Fujiwara

Fragment X Converse One Star 74 Collection5

Fragment x Converse One Star

Fragment X Converse One Star 74 Collection6

Fragment x Converse One Star

Converse began the year in Japan with a sublime Fragment colab. The One Star has always done well in Japan thanks to lenient regional licensing, but these two suede reinvigorated demand for the rebellious icon and in turn 2016 proved to be one of its biggest years yet.

Going Modern

Converse Jack Purcell 11 700X468

Jack Purcell Modern HTM

299355 All Star Modern Hi Blue 3 4 700X468

Chuck Taylor All Star Modern

Converse Auckland Modern Htm New Colours 4

Auckland Racer Modern

Converse Thunderbolt Modern Pack 1

Thunderbolt Modern

‘Ruthless simplicity’ is what Converse’s VP of design and innovation, Brian Cioffi, said of their new Modern range. First used on their Chuck Taylor All Star, the upgrade was both momentous and minimal. We attended the global launch of the line in New York and upon its unveiling, immediate talk among the crowd centred around how the sneaker looked so different, yet so familiar.

This was due to materials being replaced by harmonious counterparts. Circular knit replaced a canvas upper allowing for more creative colour applications. Hyperfuse overlays were used in spaces once occupied by metal eyelets and heel patches. Micro-suede memory foam was used on the tongue, Phylon on the midsole and the whole silhouette was streamlined to align with contemporary tastes. The shoe Converse had created was a smorgasbord of subtle updates and sly Easter eggs.

The tenets of the Modern line have since spread to models like the AucklandJack Purcell and Thunderbolt – repurposing each for a new epoch of sneaker fans. In recreating a classic, the Modern upgrade also allowed Converse another win – their first HTM collaboration. Hiroshi, Tinker and Mark offered a premium version of the evolution built with goat leather in contrasting white and black.

Jack Purcell

Fh16 Fs Jpsignature Bunney Group Hd 1600 1

Bunney x Converse Jack Purcell

Converse Jack Purcell Signiature Low Top Coated Terry Green 2

Jack Purcell Signature Printed Terry

Converse Jack Purcell Signature High Carnivorous Print Pack 1

Jack Purcell Carnivorous Print

Stussy X Converse Jack Purcell Pack1

Stussy x Converse Jack Purcell

The Jack Purcell signature was given so many reasons to smile in 2016 that we’re counting it as a highlight on its own. After swerving on its intended purpose as a performance badminton sneaker, the shoe has found a following for its palatable proportions. In 2016 though, the Purcell became much more than cosmetically pleasing. Along with the Modern upgrade, the Purcell was souped up with Lunarlon and Zoom Air tech on different occasions. Meaning; though it’s days of chasing shuttlecocks were behind it, it’d still fare well after an on-court thrashing. Shield Canvas, coated terry, quilting and leather also all made appearances on the sneaker.

Counter Climate

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Converse Chuck II Shield Canvas

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Converse Chuck II Shield Canvas

Converse Counter Climate Chuck Ii Blog 119

Converse Chuck II Shield Canvas

Converse Counter Climate Chuck Ii Blog 55

Converse Chuck II Shield Canvas

Converse Counter Climate Chuck Ii Blog 155

Converse Chuck II Shield Canvas

Converse Chuck Taylor Ii Counter Climate Sneakers By Melbourne Photographer Tom Cunningham 49

Converse Chuck II Shield Canvas

This year saw Converse tackle that persistent pain – wet feet. Launching the Counter Climate range, Converse coated the fabric on a range of sneakers with Durable Water Repellent – a substance engineered to be hydrophobic. To further bolster the shoes against inclement weather, medial eyelets were removed and a gusseted tongue was included to lure water away from your socks and out of the shoe. Brilliantly simple, simply brilliant.

Pro Leather Upgrade

Converse Pro Leather 76 Vintage Suede Pack

Pro Leather 76 Vintage Suede Pack

Converse Pro Leather Low 76 Ox Limited Edition White Tan 1

Pro Leather 76

Converse Pro Leather White Gold 2

Pro Leather Timeline

Continuing their subtle approach to sneaker updates, Converse also gave their Pro Leather 76 a minor, but effective, renovation. Some 40 years after it conquered ball courts, the Pro Leather was reinvigorated with a ‘Triple White’ and ‘Triple Black’ pair pitched at 2016’s sensibilities. Changes were minor – leather still abounded over their upper, but the application of which was executed in a way that simply wasn’t possible back when the shoe was first produced.

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