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Embrace the Spirit of the 2012 London Olympics with the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Country Collection

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Brazil

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star China Sneaker

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Country Jamaica

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Country Collection USA Show

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!

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Italy sneaker

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Country Collection Germany Shoe

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