Embrace the Spirit of the 2012 London Olympics with the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Country Collection
Get ready to carry an Olympic-sized torch for the new Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Country Collection ($75 each at Converse.com), which just launched online — right in time for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, which takes place coming Friday, July 27th. The limited-edition collection features seven hi-top Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers, each bearing digitally-printed imagery referencing a specific country competing in the Olympics: Brazil, China, USA, Italy, Jamaica, UK, or Germany. The flag of the country celebrated by each shoe, meanwhile, is featured on a label stitched onto the tongue, completing the patriotic motif.
As might be expected, the USA design (pictured last above) created for the Chuck Taylor All Star Country Collection ($75 each at Converse.com) incorporates the flag’s red-and-white stripes, but here’s the twist: if you look closely at the shoe, you’ll notice that a collage of vintage Converse print ads was superimposed atop this pattern. Within the striped pattern, then, you’ll find vestiges of those nostalgic advertisements — from sketches of shoe prototypes to illustrations of basketball players mid-game, old brand logos, and newspaper-like excerpts about shoe features. Though the inclusion of these visual references might seem self-serving, Converse’s all-American heritage can’t be denied — after all, the company was created in 1908 in North Andover, Massachusetts — so there is some continuity between the fusion of these visual elements.
From a purely aesthetic perspective, one of the prettiest shoes is the Brazil one (shown above at top), which incorporates a heavily geometric print featuring tiny triangle shapes in the green, blue, and yellow shades of the national flag. The use of triangles to create a repeating, almost kaleidoscopic pattern, is perhaps a celebration of modernist Brazilian painters such as Beto Jardmi and Beatriz Milhazes. Similarly striking is he China shoe (shown second above), which features red floral designs against a white backdrop. Since floral patterns have been an intrinsic part of Chinese art, fashion, and culture for so many centuries, the design was a logical choice — not to mention that it incorporates the blossoms most commonly found in Chinese art: among them chrysanthemum, osmanthus, azaleas, and peonies. The Jamaican shoe (pictured third from top) is perhaps one of the most on-the-nose designs (however cool it might be) as it features a depiction of the Lion of Judah over a watercolor-esque backdrop of red, green, and yellow — an obvious nod to Rastafarian culture.
Check out the Italy, Germany, and UK designs below!