WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
The world’s greatest designers understand imitation as an art form, and, naturally, it’s sportswear brands they look to for inspiration when dreaming up sneaker designs. More often than not, it’s the OG basketball silhouette – the Converse All Star – that acts as muse. Ever since its 1917 debut, the fashion industry has been obsessed with the versatility and timelessness of the quintessential sneaker.
Interested in getting your hands on a pair of – what we like to call – ‘luxe Chucks’? Keep scrolling to discover the ten best high-end kicks for Converse lovers.
visvim provides discerning dressers of all generations with wardrobe essentials that refuse to go out of style. And, of course, when it came to creating a sneaker that transcends demographics, the Tokyo-based label used the Converse All Star as its foundation. The result? The visvim Skagway – a sensible rotation mainstay.
ICYMI dirty and destroyed sneakers are the current mode. A brand that’s been creating worn-in kicks since before they became a big thing is A Diciannoveventitre. Converse lovers, we recommend you check out the Italian label’s distressed-effect lace-up boots completely formed from rubber and leather.
The latest sneaker to capture the attention of fashion’s inner circles is Maison Maihara Yasuhiro’s low top. The shoe that bears an uncanny resemblance to the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Ox is characterized by its ultra-thick laces and uneven midsole. Get yours now before we keep them all to ourselves.
Perhaps the most prominent example of a luxury Converse rip-off is the Rick Owens DRKSHDW Lows, also known as the Rick Owens Ramones. The Italian-made shoe eschews logos, patterns and graphics; instead, it lures the luxe hungry with its clean-cut aesthetic built using first-rate materials.
Some shoppers convince themselves that a designer sneaker is only worth investing in if it looks as expensive as its price tag. Feel seen? Sounds like you’d be interested in Burberry’s new season low top sneaker – a shoe that takes the shape of the Converse OX and upgrades it by employing the London-based label’s house codes.
There's a Maison Margiela Tabi shoe for everyone, including Converse devotees. Christened the Tabi High Top sneaker, the All Star-esque crep’s distinguishable by its branded tongue, graphic-decorated sidewall and tabi toe box.
The Versace Greca High Top is Donatella’s answer to the Converse All Star. Finished with the Italian fashion house’s signature motifs – including the Medusa head logo and instantly-recognisable Greca pattern – the shoe finds a midpoint between subtleness and flamboyance.
Palm Angels recently brought its skate-chic aesthetic to the high-top sneaker silhouette to create a shoe that radiates good vibes. So, if you’re a Converse wearer who wants to inject a little Cali cool into your style, we recommend swapping out your Chucks for a pair of these palm tree-adorned kicks.
Although Paul Smith isn’t a brand we usually associate with sneakers, the Nottingham-based label’s Converse-inspired low top is worthy of everyone's attention. Why? Primarily because the suede used to craft the upper of the shoe is more buttery than your morning pancakes.
Keen to upgrade your kick game but too loyal to ever cheat on Converse? Enter the on-going Comme Des Garçons PLAY x Converse collaboration. Together, the two brands are constantly finding new ways to add a touch of high fashion flair to functional footwear silhouettes.