Come on, Converse. Cranking out basketball sneakers that are as iconic as they are impractical for actual court-play is one thing. But branding yourself as counter-culture iconoclasts while functioning as a subsidiary of Fortune 500 company Nike is another. Retro wear is cool. At least, that’s the message we get from Converse’s new line of loud Mario-themed footwear. The busy patterns and painfully bright colors tell us to pass on Converse’s offer to commit fashion suicide. But our inner 8-bit child, who will never let us forget the halcyon days of NES platforming, just won’t listen. He’s screaming, “Yes, yes, yes!”
Here's Last Level, one of the Mario-themed sets of kicks released by Converse in collaboration with Nintendo. As you can see, the ankle folds down to switch between “Mario vs Bowser” and “Mario and Princess Toadstool” tableaux. It’s storytelling in shoe form, or perhaps just footwear's attempt at a flipbook. The Level 1 shoe, meanwhile, depicts midgets stomping on living mushrooms and/or collecting floating coins: things whose real-world likelihood is, frankly, higher than that of any dedicated sneaker-pimp actually wearing these ornate exemplars of the sweatshop cobbler's art.
They'll be available at Nike retailers from August, while a simpler pattern, the All Over, goes on sale next month. What do you make of them?
Jun 20, 2011
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