Converse trainers are very unique – despite their evident ‘mass-stige’ with more than one billion pairs sold, they remain iconic in their simplicity. You wear Converse, they don’t wear you. Equally on point whether you’re hanging out, skating, criss-crossing NYC on foot, painting (walls or pictures) or need something to ground that fancy suit – a pair of Chucks will always have your back. Converse wearers are fiercely loyal to their footwear and just like denim, Converse seem all the more attractive and ‘real’ the more worn they look. How fitting then that Converse has launched the global ‘Made By You’ campaign which celebrates fans of the brand who have been expressing themselves and their creativity in Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers for nearly 100 years.
Portraits collected from international icons like Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, Futura, Jefferson Hack, Sayo Yoshida, Kate Lanphear and Glenn O’Brien will be featured alongside portraits from everyday Chuck Taylor All Star wearers, and used in global exhibitions, which will turn the city streets of New York to Shanghai to Rio into art galleries. Additionally, the ‘Made by you’ campaign seeks to highlight the unique creative spirit of local communities and subcultures with hyper-local portrait exhibitions celebrating the diversity of self-expression inherent in cultural neighbourhoods throughout the world.
‘Made by you’ is a global celebration highlighting Converse Chuck Taylor All Star, a sneaker that is essentially defined by those who wear them. Converse has curated a collection of portraits, showcasing the diversity and self-expression of individuals past and present who choose to wear Chuck Taylor All Star – from musicians to artists, skaters to fashion lovers, the known to the unknown. These portraits offer an exposure into the unique worlds they inhabit.
This is a multi-channel global campaign and includes activities from the streets and stores to online and in social media, including launch exhibitions in NYC, London, Beijing, and Mexico City, as well as offering Converse-lovers the ability to participate at a host of pop-up portrait studios at Converse retail locations and events around the world. This is welcome opportunity to celebrate the people who make these sneakers what they are. Nice of the brand to recognise this.
In celebration of the launch, artist Damilola Odusote has created an original ‘Made By You’ art installation. Featured within the Converse ‘Made By You’ campaign, Damilola Odusote is a British born artist with Nigerian roots based in London, whose sculptures combine everyday objects with abstract techniques to challenge our perceptions.
Odusote has captured his own take on Sneaker Portraits – thousands of polaroids of people wearing their Chucks and sharing their Six Word Stories – assembling the images to create an cloud-like structure of London’s iconic outline. Supported by students from Central Saint Martins, Odusote has constructed the unique and striking installation by hand within a gallery space on London’s Shoreditch High Street
However worn, customized, modified or pristine, the portraits demonstrate the vast potential of an ultimate blank canvas. Hope you’ll feel inspired too!
Words by Anna Bang
Tags'made by you', Andy Warhol, anna bang, Converse, Damilola Odusote, Futura, Glenn O'Brien, Jefferson Hack, Kate Lanphear, Patti Smith, Sayo Yoshida,