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The Who, What and Why of the Converse x Midnight Studios Collaboration

The Who, What and Why of the Converse x Midnight Studios Collaboration  2

Minimal takes on the Chuck 70 and One Star sneakers release June 15 on converse.com and at select retailers. Here’s what you need to know.

The Who: Midnight Studios

Shane Gonzales established his Los Angeles-based fashion brand, Midnight Studios, in 2014. While he was just 19 at the time, the emerging designer exhibited an unusual acuity for blending contemporary style with a palpable punk spirit informed by DIY subcultures from early generations. This approach not only brought immediate attention to Midnight Studios, but has also defined the label’s unique niche.

Collaborating with Converse marks what Gonzales considers a “milestone moment” for Midnight Studios. He views Converse an “essential” brand, as well as one that allows for a unique blending of the designer’s multifaceted influences.

The Who, What and Why of the Converse x Midnight Studios Collaboration  2

The What: Shoes that look like they were turned inside out

At first glance, the Converse x Midnight Studios sneakers might seem unfinished. The shoes are inverted to expose atypical elements and accentuate a natural, unbleached greige canvas:

  • The build features an exposed PAXAR label
  • Duty tags appear on the exterior on both silhouettes (traditionally these are featured on a shoe’s interior)
  • The iconic Chuck patch lives on the Chuck 70’s interior while the lesser known player’s tag, included on the right sneaker, is exposed for the first time in Chuck history.
  • The laces for both shoes are embellished with faux production model language.

“Taking those overlooked design aspects and bringing them to the outside, while repositioning the nicely finished and printed exterior to the inside, where it can only be seen off foot, is embedded in the attitude and emotion of the time," notes Gonzales.

The Who, What and Why of the Converse x Midnight Studios Collaboration  1

The Why: Gonzales' DIY approach to fashion yields the “anti-aesthetic”

“I’ve always loved the effortlessly cool style of different subcultures that spanned throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s.  Anywhere from Teds and Rockers to Punk and Hardcore,” says Gonzales.

The Converse x Midnight Studios Chuck 70 and One Star connect firmly to Gonzales' passion for this history — and how it has informed his approach to design. “In the past with our collections, we’ve simply turned staple garments in everyday wardrobe inside out for a whole new look and energy, exposing raw edges and seams for a deconstructed feel. Applying this to our favorite sneakers was a no-brainer,” explains Gonzales.

He also feels the collaboration balances the way Midnight Studios’ draws “inspiration from popular culture and music history with a timeless shoe that fits that description.” It’s akin to a pitch-perfect costuming for a film that hits all the nuances of a subculture to a T.