In the Converse Twisted Summer collection, the classic Chuck Taylor has morphed into exciting new forms for a new generation of creators. To celebrate, we’ve handed over to three colour-obsessed women who twist classic themes to create their own worlds.
Sinead Gorey, 23, Fashion Designer
My brand is based on a glamorised concept of rave values and aesthetics, which is relatable to people of all ages.
For my S/O project I wanted to create an editorial photoshoot which imagines the third summer of love, post-lockdown. Twisting the second summer of love rave aesthetic with Converse clothing, I styled and created a series of six looks for a lifelike mannequin called Quarantina, of course. Japanese illustrator Sorayama was a big influence on the art direction for the final design, twisting his signature feminine and futuristic vibes with ‘90s rave flyers.
I’d like people to feel uplifted when they first see my work or wear a Sinead Gorey piece. You know that feeling when you walk into a party that’s poppin’ off? That’s the feeling I’m going for.
Nwaka Okparaeke, 23, Visual Artist
Within my concepts I like to focus on how love, peace and serenity tie into a situation. Making my work an escape from the hectic and dark side of life.
For this project I twisted my experience of synaesthesia, which heightens my relationship with colour. I brought the sensations I feel when I see the colours blue (calming, lonely feeling) and orange (eccentricity, explosive feeling) together to create a harmonious mix of the two. I want people to feel free and to self-reflect, if they wish, when they see what I’ve created.
Fa & Fon
Fa & Fon, 23, Visual Artists
We wanted to bring other Thai creatives and designers we admire together, but due to Covid-19 it wasn’t safe so it turned into a more personal project of us looking back at our roots and our Thai heritage and picking one particular aspect of it that we grew to love and admire - traditional Thai dance. Luckily, our Mum agreed to model so we were able to create everything at home. She had us when she was 23 and we’re now 23 so there is something really special about that. Even though the world is out of sync at the moment, it’s brought us together to create this project.
We create work that is inspired by pop culture, past and present. It’s not following a certain trend since everything seems to be going in and out of fashion a lot faster now. I think what we do differently is avoid catering to anyone else’s palate. We’re unapologetic and are aware that our work isn’t for everyone and we think that’s a fine approach to working.
The classic Chuck Taylor has been reborn for a new generation of creators, as Converse Twisted Classics. To celebrate the new collection, we’ve handed over to three women who twist the old with the new to create something different.
Joy 27, Artist
My project re-appropriates the afro high top, twisting it with other styles and objects informed by African arts and crafts. I wanted to create five modern afro hairstyles influenced by crafts I’ve come across in Nigeria: weaving, crochet, woodwork and basketry. I also thought about old photographs of my mum and her friends in Maiduguri (in the northern part of Nigeria) and how she would style and pose with her friends. By modelling in the photo series I paid homage to her.
I’ve had to carve my own identity in hair and beauty because who I saw in mainstream media growing up never looked like me; the women represented never had my kinks, coils or skin colour. The collages and images I create reflect who I want to see when I look at beauty ads, twisting classic styles on authentic girls.
Natasha 26, Nail Artist & Creative Director
My project explores cultural heritage through nail art and the lens of my brand – Fuego Nails. I’m creating two original nail art designs, one inspired by my Spanish upbringing and for my friend and creative collaborator, Jade, I will create another set that embraces her Chinese heritage. I’m always defying nail trends and twisting your standard manicure into something really unique. My clients can carry a Botticelli painting across their nails, or even have their religion expressed through iconography and embellishments. With Fuego Nails, I’m pushing boundaries in the nail art world and reshaping the traditional standards of beauty.
For my project, I’ve taken inspiration from the bright colours and bold liner used in the ‘60s and ‘70s, fusing it with my own style. Taking colour patterns from this era, I created several makeup looks that give a new-age twist to a classic moment in fashion. Collaboration is really important to me, so for this project I really wanted to showcase and work with my talented friends.
In my personal work, I’m always trying to present new possibilities in makeup, pushing boundaries and creating the unexpected. I lean towards using unorthodox materials and techniques to create makeup looks that have never been seen before and a distinctive aesthetic that honours black skin. I strive for personal authenticity and hope my work inspires others to do the same.
The classic Chuck Taylor has been reborn for the true adventure seekers as Converse Mountain Club. To celebrate the utilitarian collection, we’ve handed over to three women who know the importance of style and function, wherever they go.
Celine 28, Suman 34, Sportwear brand
Our brand, RUE-L, is all about mixing utility with function and style. Together, we created a utility based project inspired by Converse to tell a story about youth and the London commute through a playful comic-book style film and photoshoot.
RUE-L is a fresh take on sportswear, we create products with a focus on pattern cutting and construction. From "utility" we took the functional aspect and made products to go with it which compliments the Converse Utility shoe. We up-cycled old Converse puffer jackets and turned it into tote bags. We wanted to portray the cityscape as an adventure scene - getting on the tube and the general spirit of the city.
25, Web Developer
As a web developer, I always try to blend my love of tech and nature together so creating an Instagram filter inspired by my Converse shoes was such an exciting challenge. I wanted the aesthetic of my project to be inspired by nature and use technology as a tool rather than the subject matter. To do this, I used images of real plants to create my digital wreath of ivy.
I think there’s a misconception that coding is serious, but coming from a design background has helped me to see it as a creative tool. A lot of my time is spent outdoors looking for inspiration and I’m always checking that my designs are functional as well as making sure they are fun and creative.
Iona 25, Romy 28, Florists
We’re so excited to have designed our first piece of Sage Flowers merchandise which is inspired by the utility style of the Converse Mountain Club range. We’ve watched our ideas come to life on this project, all whilst staying true to the look of a traditional utility jacket. No two days are the same for us so our new jackets will keep us warm and stylish at the flower market.
As Sage Flowers, we always try to bring abstract references into our work when we collaborate with brands and creatives so it stays unique and reflects the vibrancy of our community. There aren’t many others approaching floristry the way we do – it has so many creative avenues that we’re exploring.
The classic Chuck Taylor has been reborn as the Converse Renew, with recycled uppers. To celebrate, we've handed over to 3 women who are challenging the culture of fast fashion to show us how they renew what they do.
My most recent collection is made from sustainable and locally sourced fabrics so I’ve created a capsule collection made from upcycled curtains, inspired by my customised Converse Renew shoes. Repurposing materials can be unpredictable, you never know what or how much of a material you’ll find, so I’ve had to work harder to put together this project made from curtains I sourced from charity shops. My brand, Loutre aims to minimise the impact we have on the environment by repurposing sustainable materials to create one-off skate pieces. Fashion is one of the most polluting industries on our planet but working with brands like Converse will soon spark change in the fashion industry.
25, Fashion Designer
The Converse Renew denim collection is upcycled from jeans from Beyond Retro. Inspired by that, I wanted to create a capsule collection, combining upcycled denim with my colourful graphic stitching. I really wanted to shoot the collection in local hair and beauty shops because they’re so full of colour and culture and I think we take that for granted.
My brand, MYAE, is a space for all my creative ideas to come to life and reflects what I’m doing at the time. I create designs that are original but still cater to a diverse range of women who need to be seen. I think people are starting to invest in one-off pieces and avoid fast fashion, especially those who are trying to be more sustainable. I hope I can continue to renew my practice and be part of this evolution.
My Converse Renew shoot is set in a post apocalyptic world where fashion has been rebuilt from the clothing that has survived. Much like the Converse Renew shoe, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. My styling goes way further than just the look itself. I like to create fantasy worlds and think about the character – who they’d be in a movie. I’m constantly looking for ways to rework fashion’s systems to make them more sustainable. Whether it’s through supporting local sustainable designers or working with and wearing more vintage or second hand pieces.