Inside the Union x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Collaboration

October 09, 2020

Inside the Union x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Collaboration

The newly announced collaboration with Los Angeles shop Union and Converse seems to have all the markings of a classic. Layered with meaning and undeniably clean, the collaborative Chuck Taylor All Star Hi and its corresponding apparel collection is steeped in narrative depth. Both the shoe and the apparel are heavily swathed in a “Harlem Toile” print designed by acclaimed designer Sheila Bridges. The print has been featured in the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Musée De La Toile De Jouy in France, and even on the walls of Union Japan.

Union, a progenitor of New York City’s streetwear scene in the early ’90s co-founded by James Jebbia of Supreme, is now running the show over on the West Coast by Chris Gibbs. “I am just honored to be able to work with Sheila Bridges, Gibbs tells HYPEBEAST. “Long before we met I was just a fan of her Harlem Toile, not only as just a beautiful piece of art — which it is — but also as critique, if you will, on race relations in this country.”

According to Sheila Bridges, the “Harlem Toile” print satirizes stereotypes deeply woven into the African American experience while referencing traditional French toile with its pastoral motifs from the late 1700s.

“As a shoe the Chuck Taylor is an archetype, it’s just a classic silhouette and its simple design allows, really begs, for art like this to be applied,” according to Gibbs.

The Chuck Taylor upper acts as a literal canvas for the print, which is also replicated on the insoles and box. Finishing details are supplied by a small yellow Union tag on the medial eyestay seam, a leather All-Star patch on the lateral collar, white rubber toe caps/midsoles and yellow rubber outsoles. Accompanying the shoes are a hoodie and a bucket hat that are both coated in the “Harlem Toile” as well.

The Union x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi and its corresponding apparel collection are coming to commonwealth-ftgg.ph soon.