Editor's Note: This story has been updated from the original January 21, 2021 posting and its July 22 amendment.
Converse’s collaboration with one of fashion's essential iconoclasts, Rick Owens, debuted during the Rick Owens Fall 2021 show on the Lido, Venice, with the appearance of the partnership's first design, the TURBODRK Chuck 70.
Converse’s black and white canvas footwear and Owen’s stark universe of modernist minimalism and contemporary luxury have existed independently while being distinctly connected through the years. It’s a connection that led Owens to introduce the DRKSHDW SS14 RAMONES, a subversive interpretation of Converse’s first basketball silhouette and a classic signifier of culture — the Chuck Taylor All Star.
"When I think of Converse, I think of the black and white Chuck Taylors and the punk rock generation. These have always been iconic pillars of my aesthetic," says Owens. "Wearing Chuck Taylors, you align yourself with a generation that was experimental. There is a confident dynamic to the subculture."
The TURBODARK Chuck 70 follows Owens' practice of confident contortion of cultural signifiers. His choices bend and reshape the shoe — extending the tongue and squaring-off the toe, the first time the famed Converse has presented in this execution in its century of existence.
"When I see something ubiquitous, I feel like I want to distort it. I don’t know what that’s about. Maybe it’s some kind of adolescent rage. But that’s one of the greatest appeals of the Chuck Taylor All Star," says Owens.
With a shared willingness to continually evolve form and function, the Converse x Rick Owens DRKSHDW collaboration will reimagine and re-articulate classic Converse sneakers throughout 2021.
The Converse x DRKSHDW DRKSTAR, Owens' second take on the Chuck 70, showcases the designer's practice of confident distortion of cultural signifiers and his distinct choice to bend and reshape the sneaker.
This new silhouette, which follows the TURBODRK Chuck 70, emerges in both a Hi and Ox cut with a dimensionalized rounded toe cap, gently blending the contours seen on the Chuck 70 and DRKSHDW SS14 Ramones silhouettes.
The shoe’s upper is made of a heavy-weight 18 oz cotton twill and features the same extended tongue as Owens' other Converse models, the TURBODRK and TURBOWPN.
Completing the collection are two accessories touting the brand’s notable logos: a cap available in black and pearl and a backpack with two zip enclosures and two hook and loop tape side pockets to optimize utility.
The Converse x DRKSHDW DRKSTAR collection releases November 16 at converse.com, RickOwens.eu, Rick Owens shops and select retailers.