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Converse x A-Cold-Wall*’s earthy limited-edition collection mixes utility with style 

WORDS BY EMMA ANVARI

Evolved modernism.

Converse has unveiled its latest collaboration with luxury British brand  A-Cold-Wall* (ACW) to great success, with the entire limited-edition collection selling out in its first 24-hours. 

The two new sneakers incorporate the signature asymmetry, subdued tones and material exploration of ACW founder and designer Samuel Ross, whose work is heavily influenced by British underground street culture. 

Paying homage to his experiences growing up as a Black British Caribbean man, Ross said one of his earliest memories of Converse is “owning a pair of navy blue All Stars” which he wore on numerous hikes in his travels to the Caribbean.

“The experience of my childhood affected this idea of changing the All Star into something that is more hard-wearing,” Ross said. “You have a mix of cultural experience overlaid with A-Cold-Wall*’s opinion on how footwear should operate.”

With a focus on finding humanity in the 2019 Chuck Taylor All Star Lugged, Ross pays homage to the original shoe’s ruggedness whilst incorporating extra resilience and traction into his avant-garde designs. 

“On one side it looks incredibly engineered, but on the other it feels so human,” Ross said. “It picks up on the sensitivity of the pale greys and slates.”

Converse Global Design Director for Footwear and Special Projects, Matt Sleep, said Ross “really responded to the utilitarian nature of the [Chuck Taylor All Star Lugged] design” and built on its pre-existing characteristics. 

“We see that this collection is indicative of a shift in where Samuel wants to go and his approach to objects,” Sleep said.  

The September 17 collection also saw the release of workwear apparel which utilise technical fabrics such as ripstop nylon and organic hues, reflecting ACW’s inspiration in rare earth elements and natural forces such as erosion and fossilisation. 

Ross said the interaction of these earthy tones across the limited edition release “definitely reflects the development” of ACW and allows him to “hit the balance of texture and material to carry a sense of memory”. 

“If volume one of A-Cold-Wall* had a linear approach, now the psyche is applied to wearable form,” Ross said. 

The Converse x A-Cold-Wall* collection can be viewed at Converse and Sneakerboy.

converse.com.au

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