Recently Converse launched the Comme des Garçons PLAY for Converse Pro Leather collection globally. Building on the notable success of two previous collaborations, Converse reunited with fashion authority Comme des Garçons to create four new styles of the iconic Converse Pro Leather sneaker.
Comme des Garçons PLAY, a casual, streetwear-influenced line from the avant-garde Japanese label founded by Rei Kawakubo, adds the Pro Leather to its design repertoire, creating a new take on the sneaker that debuted in 1976 as a performance basketball shoe and has since evolved into an iconic lifestyle sneaker.
Comme des Garçons’ Kawakubo designed the collection with PLAY’s signature quirky heart-with-eyes logo to create four new sporty versions of the iconic Converse Pro Leather. For this collection, a new all-over PLAY logo pattern was placed randomly to make each sneaker unique in design. The playful pattern celebrates the creative, irreverent sprit that is synonymous with both the Converse and Comme des Garçons brands.
Here, CEO of Comme des Garçons International Adrian Joffe fills us in about the collaboration.
Life+Times: This marks the third iteration of a collaboration between Converse and Comme des Garçons. What is unique about this range?
Adrian Joffe: This is the first time that we have worked on the brilliant Converse Pro Leather and the first time we have done this particular “all-over” graphic design with our iconic heart mark.
L+T: Different styles are utilized this time around – what Converse styles did you draw upon? Why?
AJ: First, we worked with Chuck Taylor and then Jack Purcell. This time, Converse and Comme des Garçons wanted to do something new. Converse suggested Pro Leather, and we liked the idea so we chose it. Simple as that.
L+T: What was the collaborative process like between Converse and CDG?
AJ: CDG did the graphic design idea and proposed to Converse many options and variations. There were too many good ones! Converse and CDG then discussed the editing process and we came down to the four that we released.
L+T: What similarities between the two brands do you see?
AJ: Collaborations are best and most meaningful when the brands collaborating make completely different things and have different histories. It’s best when these two brands are the best at what they do, yet they share a common spirit.
L+T: Why do you feel it makes sense to join forces?
AJ: We recognize in Converse the will to constantly innovate and create new things while safeguarding traiditon. We identify with those values – and of course, they make the best sneakers. How can it not make sense?
The Converse and Comme des Garçons collection is available online here, at Comme des Garçons’s New York City location, and at select retailers.