The History of Converse

The History of Converse

Converse can be found in most people’s wardrobes and is one of those items that go with any outfit.  It is considered as one of the most well known brands in the world. Converse has succeeded in creating a brand that is immediately recognisable and many companies have tried to copy this popular brand. 

Humble Beginnings

Converse started in 1908 as a rubber shoe company who designed rubber based shoes.  At the time it was known as the Converse Rubber Shoe Company.  Marquis Mills created the brand.  Not long after their establishment they began producing sneakers, which have now become a household name.  Their first colour was brown with a black sole, which today would not be a great seller.

By 1910 the company was producing well, but in 1915 the shoes that we know today were being produced.  Sales were unfortunately slow as trainers were not thought of as leisure wear at the time.  Converse was mainly popular amongst sports players at the time.  The brand was renamed in 1920, long before online pokies NZ were around, and became known as “All-Star”.  The name stuck and endorsements followed soon after that.  The most popular being Charles “Chuck” Taylor who was a popular basketball player.  This was a turning point for the brand.

Bought and Sold

Nike had taken an interest in the company and when Chuck Taylor died the company went through various owners and changed management.  Unfortunately the company went through some difficult times and in 2001 they had to file for bankruptcy.  Nike jumped in and saved the brand and assisted in helping them get to where they are today.  Nike was able to save the brand when they bought it.  Over the years Converse has developed into a brand that is suitable for all occasions and not solely for basketball.  Converse is synonymous with street style and is known across the world as a brand suited to everyday life.


Because Converse shoes are so popular and well known everybody wants to be associated with them. The company has always been interested in collaborating with other brands, which means that their brand can be available in more places, and allows their loyal brand fans to also get a chance to wear their limited editions.  Important collaborations include Michael Jordan and Converse and also crossovers with bigger brands like Comme Des Garçons.  This collaboration produced the popular black and white low tops with half a half red heart.  This was a popular combination and made a fashion statement.  The collaboration with JW Anderson is another important one where Anderson has put his own personal touch to the high top sneaker.

Converse is also known for playing an important role in the music industry.  A popular work of converse in the music industry is The Ramones where converse plays a role in the punk scene.  Many musicians have also partnered with Converse and have created limited styles such as the Gorillas Converse.