This year, Converse celebrates its storied 100th anniversary. While Converse is well known for their basketball shoes, they actually didn’t start off in the basketball business.
In 1908, Converse began its origins as a shoe manufacturer making rubber soled footwear. It was only in 1917 that the world’s first performance basketball shoe, the Converse All Star, was developed. By 1921, basketball player Charles “Chuck” Taylor was hired by Converse to promote the All Star shoes. In 1923, in honor of his work, Chuck’s signature was added to the All Star patch.
Other memorable dates include:
- 1936: Basketball became an official Olympic sport. The U.S. team won the first Olympics basketball gold medal wearing Converse All Stars.
- 1939: The first NCAA championship basketball tournament was held. At the games, both team wore which shoes? Yup, that would be Converse All Stars.
- 1940s: As the US entered WWII, Converse started producing not only footwear but apparel, suits, and parkas for the troops.
Fast forwarding a few decades, 1975 marked the year that Converse added “One Star” to its lineup. The One Star shoe was a low-cut performance shoe that was originally for basketball but was soon adopted by skaters seeking a different look.
Starting this year, Target has an ongoing designer collaboration with Converse to bring Converse One Star apparel and footwear to Target.
And the men:
The footwear collection just launched with prices in the $29.99-$34.99 range. Some super cute styles like the Converse Glitter Flats ($29.99) and Converse pink flowered oxfords ($34.99) are already online at Target. As for the vintage and street apparel, fans will need to wait until Feb 3rd.