It's a pretty big deal when your closet staples (whether they're currently in heavy rotation or were a beloved go-to in the past) go under the knife. Take Converse's Chuck Taylor All Star. Last year, the brand rejiggered its iconic style for the first time in its century-plus history. That updated version keeps the familiar Chucks look intact while (finally) tweaking the interior technology so the shoes don't completely wreak havoc on your feet. Now, the storied sneaker has undergone a more dramatic facelift with the debut of the Converse All Star Modern. "It's a product truly steeped in innovative design and modern design language, with superior on-foot comfort," Bryan Cioffi, vice president and global creative director at Converse, said during a launch event for the new shoe in NYC earlier this week. Just like last year's debut of the Chuck II, the Modern utilizes Nike technology to bring comfort to the classic kicks. (Nike has owned Converse for over a decade.) For all the sneaker nerds out there, here's all the tech-y know-how, according to Cioffi: "There's fully contoured Phylon midsole and outsole construction, a new interpretation of the iconic All Star outsole, Nike Hyperfuse overlays on the eye welts and the toe, a split tongue, and neoprene liner." Got all that? The outsole revamp is perhaps the most dramatic change aesthetically: Instead of the original Chuck's signature (and easily recognizable) striped, rubber-wrapped version, the new style sports a bright-white, foamy-looking iteration.
Tomorrow will be your first chance to nab a pair: The limited-edition Converse All Star Modern HTM, an ultra-sleek black-and-white leather version will be available exclusively at NikeLab stores and NikeLab.com. HTM stands for the initials of a sort of design dream team at Nike that's been whipping up special collabs for 14 years, consisting of Hiroshi Fujiwara, founder of cult sneaker brand Fragment Design; Nike's VP of creative concepts, Tinker Hatfield; and Nike's president and CEO, Mark Parker. "It's the first time [Hatfield, Fujiwara, and Parker] worked on product outside of Nike," Cioffi noted, and the trio's initials are featured on the shoe. The shoes will be offered in five different colors when they're released on June 16 at Converse stores, Converse.com, and select retailers. Pricing is definitely substantially higher than what longtime Chucks fans are accustomed to shelling out: the special HTM version will run you $180, while the high-top style of the Modern retails for $140, and the low-top version (called "Ox") is $130.