Converse may have started on the basketball court in 1918, but today the sneaker giant has won a loyal following that goes far beyond sports. Fashion girls, cool teens, rockstars — pretty much all of us have worked a pair of the lace-ups into our closets. And, while collabs with Missoni and Comme des Garcons are always exciting, when it comes to classic cool, nothing beats the Chuck Taylor All Star. The style is arguably the most recognizable in the world — unfortunately, it's also the most copied.
The New York Times reports that Converse is fed up with competitors cashing in on its iconic designs, and is now suing 31 companies that it claims knocked off the shoes. Wal-Mart, Fila, and Skechers are just a few of the brands that have reportedly incorporated key All-Star elements — like the toe cap, the toe bumper, and the thin stripes — into their own sneakers.
As Converse chief executive Jim Calhoun told the NYT,"We continue to see sort of an explosion, if you will, an increase in knockoff activity. Cease-and-desist letters aren't enough.” It will be tough for Converse to prove trademark infringement due to strict copyright laws, but the brand is more concerned with getting these all-too-similar sneakers off the shelves, period. The All Star price tag is $50, compared to the Skechers’ version at $40, or Wal-Mart's $12.95. But, given the fact that the original sneakers are durable, versatile, and will last you for years, doesn't it make sense to stick with the real thing? (The New York Times)