The DIY wave in streetwear is still riding high. On August 16th, Converse will answer to the call for more one of a kind footwear with a new sneaker designed by artist Joshua Vides. Vides, who is well known for his comic-like graphic illustrations and experiential collaborations with Takashi Murakami, designed his own take on a Chuck 70 high top by integrating Velcro panels that come in multiple Pantone shades. The provided Velcro hook and loop panels allow the wearer to create ultra-custom sneakers they can swap on a daily basis.
The black and white version of Vides' Chuck 70 also features the artist's signature black and white illustrations, which appear on the outsole and give the sneaker silhouette a surreal graphic look. The hand-drawn, additive quality harkens back to the origins of the iconic chuck, a sneaker known to many as a wearable canvas for personal expression.
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The opportunity to redesign an iconic shoe like the Converse arose somewhat out of chance—as Vides mentions, "while I was in NYC, a member of the Converse team introduced themselves and mentioned they were interested in meeting. Maybe an hour later, we were sitting down to discuss a potential collaboration." The collaboration took a little under a year from idea to release, and is the first Converse sneaker to feature an entire upper with a separate Velcro panel.
Is ultra-customization the future of streetwear? It's still hard to tell, as sneakers with the same offbeat spirit as Vides' are popping up regularly in an almost viral fashion. Trends in sneaker design such as this stand as an interesting challenge to designers, who are increasingly prompted to create products that allows for personalization and putting consumers in the creative driver's seat.
Whatever the future holds, Vides' is on board for encouraging widespread design-mania, as he told Core77: "I'm in the position I am today only because I felt the need to create. As much as the collaboration is part of me, I looked at this opportunity as a opportunity to give back. Anyone who has the product in their hand, now has the ability to customize an iconic shoe literally within seconds."
The Joshua Vides Converse Chuck 70s will be available starting August 16th at Converse.com.