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Converse’s new Keith Haring collection brings the streets of New York to your soles

Words by Tiffany Forbes

Stepping out in street art.

It wouldn’t be a walk down the streets of New York City without catching a glimpse of Manhattan’s avant-garde graffiti scene. Designs are chalked onto billboards, subways and any remotely vacant brick wall within a two-block radius. 

While I wait patiently for my grand return to those bustling streets (and the best cream cheese bagels in the world), it seems Converse is already a step ahead of me. Launching a collaborative line with one of the city’s most prolific and progressive pop artists, the late Keith Haring, Converse has managed to satisfy my appetite for the Big Apple with this latest twist on its iconic sneaker and apparel styles. 


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Known for his playful and uplifting street art drawings with a cheeky hit of colour, the American pop artist’s ’80s subway murals take on a new canvas for the line. Available on Converse’s Chuck 70, Chuck Taylor All Star, Pro Leather and the style-forward Run Star Hike, as well as a series of apparel and a bucket hat, the collection is made for those looking for an edgy and expressive spin on the all-star classics. 

With Converse’s aim to “break the barriers of tomorrow”, it’s only fitting Keith’s not-your-run-of-the-mill designs have been chosen to reinvigorate the brand’s heritage models. 

“No other [artist] embodies this mindset [more] than Keith Haring, with his signature pop art style championing the belief that people can change the world through creativity,” a brand press release explains. 

A driving force throughout Haring’s career was ensuring his work not only conveyed powerful messages (being an AIDS and anti-apartheid activist) but advocated for the oppressed by uplifting them. Thanks to the street art medium he favoured, his work always remained accessible to everyone. It ties in with the footwear release nicely, given Keith’s work will now be readily available to be worn and enjoyed, worldwide.

The collection utilises white, off-white and black colourways, leaving the artist’s world-renowned illustrations (which have been carefully embroidered onto the shoe’s upper) to take centre stage. Pops of red, green and yellow make an appearance on various designs, elevating the otherwise monochromatic finish. This gives us footwear-fiends the option of something more simple and understated, as well as something with a bit more pizazz. 

 

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If creativity is the name and self-expression is the game, you can also make your mark and customise your own shoes, with Converse’s Converse By You program. The initiative allows customers to design their own pair of Chuck 70s by editing the ankle patch, midsole, laces, foxing, pinstripes, heelstay and lining.

No matter how you choose to wear your Keith Haring Chucks, each stride you take in your new soles pays homage to the late pop artist’s legacy and, of course, the spray-painted streets of everybody’s favourite concrete jungle. 

You can get your hands on a pair of Keith Haring’s Converse collection online here.

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