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Building the Converse x JW Anderson Run Star Hike

Building the Converse x JW Anderson Run Star Hike 3

The Converse x JW Anderson Run Star Hike

Jonathan Anderson’s latest collaboration with Converse began with an established desire — merge a Chuck Taylor with a runner — and quickly evolved as a study in blending a Converse icon with a new, very different Converse silhouette. The result, the Converse x JW Anderson Run Star Hike, drew immediate attention when it debuted during the designer’s Spring/Summer 2019 Collection show last September in London.

In principle, the silhouette is a declaration on contemporary mash-up culture, while in practice, it's a deft articulation of gamesome exploration of proportion and stance.

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“Contrasting proportions have always been part of my design aesthetic. When I approached this latest Converse, I was looking to re-create the same aesthetic by pairing the sole of a Run Star with the classic Chuck Taylor to emphasize the proportions,” says Anderson.

This approach presented a challenge in engineering: how to retain integrity of individual parts and still present a strong catalyst for visceral reaction.

Thus, building the Converse x JW Anderson Run Star Hike required some ingenuity in design. Anderson didn't touch the upper; it rounds the foot with the same graceful, narrow sweep as it did in the '70s. He accentuated this simple shaping by using the tooling of the Converse Run Star, a heritage-style, injection-molded running shoe. It's the antithesis of the Chuck in terms of chunk and presents an intriguing stack height. Scale was also added through the addition of a sawtooth tread, effectively forming a three-part shoe (upper, midsole, outsole) wherein each portion can be read easily from distance.   

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The date “1917” honors the birth of the All-Star.

Subtle details, including hand drawn typographical marks, relay the shared history of Converse and JW Anderson. On the white version, the date “1917” appears beside the patch on a Chuck 70 canvas upper, noting the debut of the All-Star. In contrast, an upcoming glitter version of the shoe reads "2017," marking the initial release of the Converse x JW Anderson Chuck 70 Glitter. Each are moments that extended and pushed the boundaries of the Converse brand at-large.

"Jonathan has been a terrific partner for Converse in extending in the Chuck 70 and forging a connection between youth culture and studied runway fashion," says Matt Sleep, Converse Design Director, Special Projects & Collaboration.  

The white colorway of the Converse x JW Anderson Run Star Hike releases February 2019.