If you’re not completely sure of what I’m talking about, let me paint you a picture. It’s 2015, you’re still a teen but that doesn’t stop you from already being on the ‘quest of coolness’. You want to impress—who exactly, I’m still not sure—and your best shot at doing that is by buying the trendiest kicks in town. At least, this hasn’t changed, things have just gone even crazier than before.
But back to 2015; you’re going through your options and two choices stand out from the crowd—which is ironic because soon enough, the whole ‘crowd’ will be wearing them. Pharrell x adidas Originals Stan Smith or Converse x Comme des Garçons PLAY? You decide to go for the second option, because you consider yourself slightly cooler and ‘edgier’ than a Stan Smith wearer. And you are, at the time—cool that is, not edgy. So what happened between then and now for the iconic Converse collaboration to fall from grace this violently?
First of all, let me just say that if you were one of those people I’ve described above, I’m not judging you one bit. I had a pair of Converse x CDG too—I even had a few t-shirts and a cardigan that I still wear to this day. The only difference is that the cool factor of this collab has completely disappeared. Take Travis Scott for example, who recently posted a few pictures of him wearing a pair on Instagram.
As one of the most influential celebrities among the hypebeast community, the rapper still got some serious shit for wearing what everyone now deems the most mainstream pair of trainers ever. Comments ranged from “Oh my god why would you wear those…” and “Man has millions of dollars and still dresses like a high school sophomore” to “CDG 📈📈📈📈” and “watch everybody about to go get cdg chucks again.”
As of now—let’s not underestimate the powerful cycle of fashion trends—Scott himself failed to make the Chuck 70 x CDG acceptable again. The question deserved to be asked, however, and Highsnobiety has even dedicated an entire article to it, literally titled Could Travis Scott exonerate the CDG Play x Converse Chuck 70?
While we await the pair’s potential rise from the ashes, here’s more on what really went wrong for the collab.
In 2009, Comme des Garçons (CDG) joined forces for the first time with Converse, marking the legendary model of the Chuck Taylor with the heart and its big eyes, logo of PLAY, the streetwear line of the Japanese fashion label. At the time, CDG designers stripped the Chuck Taylor of its visible seams, giving the shoe a clean and minimalist look.
The collaboration was a big success. In 2015, Converse and CDG joined forces again and this time presented a model of Chuck 70 stamped with the red heart. The pair sparked an impressive infatuation, and soon found themselves at everyone’s feet. In fact, it was such a success that Sneaker Freaker named it the “decade’s most influential sneaker.”
Sadly, like all fashion pieces adopted by the general public, the Chuck 70 x CDG ended up getting rejected by some picky consumers who considered that the model had become too mainstream. Like Stan Smith wearers, people who still sport a pair of Converse x CDG on their feet are seen by many as follower sheep who lack taste.
Today, the Chuck 70 x CDG is the subject of debate among style aficionados. If a handful of consumers welcome restocks and the arrival of new colours with enthusiasm, others judge the people who wear them.
On 1 June 2021, Hypebeast announced on Instagram the release of new colours of Converse’s legendary collaboration. The model is now also available in blue and grey. It goes without saying that the pair has lost its exclusivity factor, but should it not be remembered as a pop culture symbol of the second half of the 2010s nonetheless? And you know what happens to iconic pieces—they always make a comeback.