Over 2,000 years ago, Chinese artisans discovered that suspending and swirling inks or paint on a still water surface could create brilliant and distinctive marble patterns on paper. The technique was refined in Japan, where it is called Suminagashi (“ink-floating”), by Shinto priests during the 12th century, who found that adjusting the water’s viscosity and surface tension allowed them to control the floating pigments to create images evocative of landscapes, clouds, vast seas and mountain ranges. Over time, the Suminagashi aesthetic spread around the globe, evolving as it traveled.
The premium Converse Chuck Taylor All Star 70 Suminagashi celebrates the particular appropriation of these patterns in late 1960s and 1970s psychedelic clothing and performance art. The shoe’s swirling marble-patterned uppers — one red, one black — are overlaid with rubberized polka dots, which were also prevalent in the era. The silhouette is finished by aged-gloss midsoles and toecaps, and playful polka dot outsoles.
The Converse All Star Chuck ’70 Suminagashi sneaker releases Friday, July 1 in limited quantities at Converse stores, Converse.com and select First String retailers worldwide.