Whoa — Another Converse Sneaker Got A Major Face-Lift

Photo: Courtesy of Converse.
It took Converse almost a century to revisit its most-recognizable sneaker. Turns out, the reintroduction of that very-familiar style was just the tip of the iceberg; it's since ushered in a new wave of sneakers that go way beyond our dependable Chucks. Last month, Converse gave us a virtually unrecognizable take on the All Star. Now, as part of its Modern collection, the brand is launching a brand-new style that's quite a departure from the rugged canvas lace-ups we know and love.

Behold, the Auckland Modern, a reboot of Converse's Auckland Racer. The new-and-improved version adapts the '70s- and '80s-inspired athletic silhouette for our perpetually in sneakers lifestyles. The shoe debuts tomorrow in five colorways, retailing for $110 a pair.

Without spotting the logo, a first look at the Auckland Modern might make you think of Nike before Converse, with its mesh-like texture and minimal branding. Well, Nike, Inc. owns Converse, so that isn't exactly a shocker — and Converse has benefited from its parent company's technological innovations in the past. Bryan Cioffi, VP and creative director of footwear at Converse, calls it "a mutually beneficial relationship." While they target consumers independently(and have separate cult followings for certain styles), the brands can share certain resources.
Photo: Courtesy of Converse.
The whole process of getting a new sneaker out in the world, from initial sketches to landing on store shelves, takes about 18 months, Cioffi estimates. Whereas past Auckland Racer relaunches have been more focused on fashion than fitness, you can actually be active this particular update — it's equipped with Nike's Hyperfuse construction and a Phylon outsole to optimize the shoe for durability and cushion, respectively.

Still, given Converse's history, this athletic turn won't come as that much of a surprise. "Converse has an authentic and formidable sport heritage in running," Cioffi told Refinery29. Many of the brand's most-iconic products are rooted in sports culture, Cioff adds. The Auckland Modern ties back to Converse's running DNA. The name refers to the New Zealand city's apparently rich jogging history and the silhouette draws from the lightweight comfort runners want, adapted for wear off the trails.

It took a while for Converse to even mess with its classic formulas. So, why make all these changes now? According to Cioffi, consumers asked for it: "[Customers] have told us that they want more newness, more comfort, and more innovation, all the while staying true to the spirit of the brand," he said.

So, what do you think of Converse's new look? Let us know in the comments.

More from Fashion

Do you remember the Hula-Hoop dress? It was a dress for little girls, pretty basic in almost every way except that there was a Hula-Hoop sewn into the hem...
Yet another puzzling school dress code violation has transpired. This time around, a 12-year-old's denim skirt is the source of controversy. Reese Franyo, ...
Love 'em or hate 'em, it's hard to deny that leggings are totally passable as pants when styled properly. Of course, no bottoms — leggings or otherwise — ...
Meet Lulu Bonfils: artist, model, Instagram champ, and all around cool girl stomping on pre-determined model rules in sick combat boots
Bags are hard to shop for. Although they have a lot of utility — they're used to tote our items all around town — designers only have so many ways to get ...
This post was originally published on December 6, 2015. You never want something until you can't have it. So, each week in The Sell-Out, we're getting the...
The Kardashian-Jenners have all been known to catalyze sales, whether or not they're hyping their own brands. But in case you had any doubts about Kylie ...
(Paid Content) Though the temps are still doing that awkward dance between summer and fall, we're already dreaming of sweater weather and itching to scoop ...
The fashion industry is evolving, much to our collective relief. And especially right now, you might have noticed that celebrating one's unique looks is...
On Tuesday evening, there was no escaping the huge neon letters — Y, S, L — suspended from a blue, white, and red crane, as the audience arrived for ...
Though bloggers may have a reputation for sharing almost every aspect of their lives — from #OOTDs to dinner pics (hey, we're guilty of this, too) — rarely...
This story was originally published on August 4, 2014. Even though we've all experienced most temperatures, we have selective memory about what they're ...
It's a feat that the off-the-shoulder trend — one that requires such commitment to strapless bras as well as keeping your arm-raise impulses in check — got...
This story was originally published on September 2, 2016. When we first spot a new item, our gut reaction is to connect it to a past decade's aesthetic: "...