After three years in the making, Converse finally introduced the world to their new global headquarters located on the picturesque waterfront of Boston. Finished in 1908, the same year the sportswear company was founded, the century old building was brought back to life after spending many years derelict and condemned, standing proudly as a true testament to Converse's dedication to innovation while keeping its history firmly intact. Leaving the beautifully weathered exterior in place and reclaiming wood from the old Lovejoy Wharf to create unique furniture found throughout the space, Converse Global Creative Director David Carrewyn explained the lengths the team behind the restoration project took to make sure the building's heritage blended perfectly with its new modern fit-out.
Commissioned works from established and new artists and designers decorate the office, from the large Futura 2000 installation that greets everyone in the foyer to the amazing Rubber Tracks gig posters in the cafeteria area, each impressive piece displayed the brand's affinity with the creative arts over the years.
The space also boasts a Rubber Tracks studio, a space where upcoming musicians have the opportunity to record music with state of the art equipment and facilities. Once inducted into the Rubber Tracks alumni via a recording session at the Rubber Tracks studio, musicians also have the chance to support well-known acts in Rubber Tracks events held across the world.
We also had a quick tour of a small selection of the brand's humungous archive. Converse Archivist Sam Smallidge has the daunting task of collecting examples of the company's products over its extensive history that includes the brand's first collaboration with Mickey Mouse back in 1934 to its wartime efforts during the '40s. We'll be revisiting the Converse archives in detail in a future issue of Sneaker Freaker!
Lastly, the Lovejoy Wharf retail space is where you can find products not available anywhere else in the world. References of the city's landmarks and historical Freedom Trail are found throughout the exclusive range of apparel and footwear, while top tier collaborative collections with Hancock and Missoni sit alongside classic Converse offerings to give the most extensive spread of of Converse gear found in any Converse store. The Lovejoy Wharf also houses The Workshop where customers can work with a Converse designer to construct a fully customised pair of Chucks.
The tour was a great experience and gave us a great insight into the direction the brand is heading moving forward. A big shout out to friend Julian Loh for taking all the photos for us while we were over in Boston. If you ever get a chance to head to the Converse HQ you should definitely make it happen!