1969-1993: Arguably the golden age of Converse, All Stars are emblematic of subversive youth culture — Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Rotten, Joan Jett. In an era when the kids really did try and change the world, All Stars encapsulate the spirit of change. But with All Star lover Kurt Cobain’s death in 1993, the tide turns.
1993-2001: All Star decline is gradual but nonetheless evident — as emo and indie bands swarm into the mainstream in the late-90s, the pedestrian groups Green Day, Wheatus, and just about every other whiny, impassioned vocalist dons Converse. This is the time period when 14-year-olds accessorized their Tamagotchis with the latest hot pink All Stars, decorated with peace signs and yin and yangs. In fashion terms, All Stars have now crossed over to the dark side. Bad business means the company files for bankruptcy in 2001, and in 2003 gets bought by Nike. The modern era, the Crisis of Converse begins.
2003-present: All Star annihilation. The brand is now so pervasive in mainstream pop culture that style-less C-listers and Disney stars like Zac Efron and the Jonas Brothers drive the stake into Converse’s once-hip heart. When Ellen DeGeneres makes Converse her shoe of choice, Chuck Taylor turns in his grave, and Williamsburg’s hipsters abandon the style for good.
Will it take a return to 1917’s war, destruction and disease to finally destroy this shoe?