Two separate emails served to throw me off the scent of the true purpose of my trip to New York City courtesy of Converse. The first was a press release to introduce the new campaign called #ForeverChuck and centered around the Chucks in Film throughout the years and how the wearer of the Chucks always seemed to be individuals that strayed from the norm and marched to the beat of their own drum. Narrated by the amazing actress Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things fame, the imagery of the ad also gave a nod to the undeniable staying power of the iconic Chuck Taylor silhoutette. The second email came to me as a bit of a surprise, as I thought the #ChuckForever strategy was the intention of the trip.
In the second communication, I was given a mandate to head into the city and create imagery for a Converse shoe that is about to launch later this month. Being borne of the Instagram shoe shot tendency through the years, I was expectedly excited about this last task… Like, c’mon! As I slowly came back to reality, slight anxiety crept into my head as I often worry and hope I will be capable of meeting their expectations. Reminding myself that without a bit of anxiousness might leave me complacent and undeserving of being included for such an opportunity. As a side order to the shoot instructions, the Canadian Converse invitees would also have access to the latest VFILES Loud show going down a few blocks from the hotel. As a most recent collaborator to Converse, VFILES‘ involvement in the show promised to be outstanding, as they have aimed to provide a platform to discover, connect, collaborate with exciting, new, up and coming artists from different fields.
So, as mentioned, the goal of the travel to the Big Apple had shifted from #ChuckForever, to shooting in the streets and a brief introduction to the VFILES component of Converse’s initiative. As we stepped off the elevator to what I thought would be supper as a team, my eyes grew in concordance with my smile as they ushered me into a room with a long table in the center. A few Chuck Taylor’s on display, a few pairs of chairs set up all around, small wooden boxes with bits and pieces of sneakers, and to each station, metal patterns and fans of swatches for different materials furthered the unanticipated event unfolding right in front of me.
At first thought, I was excited that I was going to learn about how they put together a Chuck Taylor, but as introductions went on, it became clear that the lucky faithful in attendance were going to have the opportunity to customize their very own Chuck Taylor as an acknowledgment of the Evolution of an Icon. Chuck Taylor All Star was the beginning, Chuck Taylor All Star ’70 is the throwback, Chuck II is the Sequel, and now Chuck Modern is the Evolution. A service usually only offered at the SoHo and Boston Converse locations, the customization process unfolding in front of us was kicked up a few notches by the inclusion of exclusive materials and colors supplied by VFILES’ featured designer Nasir Mazhar. How crazy is it that his selected designs would only be available for one night, more than guaranteeing anyone that chooses his works would be creating a true one-of-one arrangement.
As the night went on, we discussed the next steps in Converse’s timeline and were included into the brand’s vision for the upcoming year. And as we geared up for the night’s next event, I couldn’t help but look back at the set up they had presented us; without directly stating their intentions, Converse managed to encourage their mission to advance and push boundaries whilst all the while staying firmly grounded and true to their status as an icon in the fashion and sneaker industry.
A huge thank you to Converse Canada for the hospitality and immersive experience. Be on the lookout for Converse x VFILES happenings in the near future, and stay ready for the #ChuckForever movement going down right now!