Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Marquis Mills Converse
$1.89 billion (2018)
The iconic All-Star Chuck Taylor has remained relatively unchanged throughout the brand’s lifetime. An upgrade in 2015 labelled Chuck Taylor II flopped, and the brand ceased production of the new style in 2017. The Original All-Stars style came back, with a focus on quality, brand new collections, and unseen collaborations. The classic silhouette continues to be a favourite among celebrities, musicians, artists and every-man alike, now spanning generations of style icons.
The brand is now so ubiquitous you’d be hard-pushed not to stumble across them wherever you go – popping up in charity shops, high streets and beyond. Check out the Converse website for the full collection.
Founded by Marquis Mills Converse as the Converse Rubber Shoe Company.
Introduction of the ‘Non Skids’ basketball shoe. The rubber sole and canvas upper formed the basis of the current style.
Semi-professional basketball player Charles “Chuck” Taylor is given a salesman job at Converse, bringing ideas on how increased flexibility and ankle support could improve the performance of the shoes.
Within a year of his arrival, Taylor’s ideas led to the creation of the All-Star, including a circular logo patch that protected players’ ankles. Chuck Taylor’s signature is added to the patch and remains there today.
Converse switches back to production of rubberized footwear throughout World War II.
The Chuck Taylor All-Star becomes the standard among basketball players across high school, collegiate and professional levels.
Converse faces competition from PUMA, adidas, Nike and Reebok in the battle for on-court footwear.
Converse purchases PF Flyers, and with it the trademark Jack Purcell badminton shoe. The style continues to be produced with its classic ‘smile’ toe.
The brand loses its monopoly in athletic shoes, but sees a shift towards a new breed of fans claiming All-Stars as casual, retro-style.
The Converse One Star style is released, flanked on both sides with the iconic solo star and gains a cult following.
Converse files for bankruptcy but is saved by investors.
Nike pays an estimated $305m for the company and expands the brand across clothing and introduce new styles.
Converse launches the CONS skateboarding team with Kenny Anderson, Anthony Pappalardo, Nick Trapasso and others.
Italian fashion house Missoni create an exclusive “Premium Chuck” revealed at the Milan Menswear Spring/Summer show. The duo have continued to collaborate on more collections since.
Converse becomes partners in the (RED) campaign, which aims to prevent HIV transmission from mother to daughter.
After years of cease and desist letters, Converse file a lawsuit against 31 companies for infringing the iconic bumper toe, striped midsole and toe cap.
Converse collaborates with the Andy Warhol foundation to create a pop art-inspired collection.
The so-far unchanged Chuck Taylor is given a makeover. The Chuck Taylor II is launched, incorporating Nike technology to create a lighter shoe and boasting upgrades such as a no-slip tongue but sales begin to slide.
The brand refocus on quality collections and increased comfort instead, dropping production of the short-lived Chuck Taylor II.