Tag Archives: Converse All-Stars

AMERICANA ♥ Converse + Marimekko

While AMERICANA was in Finland last week, Marimekko, the iconic Finnish textile company, had the launch of their new shoe project in cooperation with Converse.  Although I didn’t make it to the release party at the flagship store in Helsinki, I did go down the next day to get a pair while they were still fresh.

Luckily this time, my adventure to get locally-designed Converse All-Stars was a little easier than my great shoe caper in Estonia that resulted in me buying a pair at the only place in town they were available: the post office.

This time, Marimekko’s Viola was there to help me find my size & the style I wanted.  There was a DJ & dancers in the store, but sadly I wasn’t able to buy stamps for my post cards there as well.

The next day at Helsinki Vintage, Marimekko’s Design Manager Noora Niinikoski stopped by AMERICANA’s shop for a chat about Converse Marimekko and the whole heritage trend with American & Finnish brands.  She amusingly recounted a similar adventure in Tallinn to find herself a pair of Estonian All-Stars, which also led her to the same back alley post office.

Here’s Noora to tell you all about Converse & Marimekko’s joint project:

Marimekko's Viola

You can buy a pair for yourself either through Marimekko or Converse‘s website.

They’re a limited edition so hurry!


Filed under Converse

My American Hometown Shoe Store

This is the first installment in a series about the people, places & things from my recent trip to America…

In just about every small town in America, there’s a little shoe store that carries quality brands for local customers. Many of these shoe stores are a family business that have been serving generations.

I guess I’m lucky because where I come from, our local family-run shoe store is Sears Shoe Store in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

This store has nothing to do with Sears, the big American department store chain.  Rather, it’s owned by the Sears family who have been shoeing people of the Tennessee Valley for decades.  My grandparents shopped there for work shoes as well as “Sunday shoes,” my parents still shop there, and when I’m in the States, I shop there for myself and my children.

Sears is chock full of all kinds of quality footwear goodness for men, women & children, representing the best brands from the United States as well as fashion brands known around the world.

The thing I love most about Sears is that you can always find dead stock somewhere in their cavernous maze of shoes.  If you ask the staff, they can pull just about anything out of their floor-to-ceiling stacks of shoes.

This includes vintage baby shoes, ladies heels from the 1960s or, as I asked for & got on a recent visit, a pair of white Converse All-Star high tops that were Made in U.S.A. It is also exactly the place I knew I could find a very rare pair of Spalding Saddle Oxfords, which are now one of my most prized pair of shoes.

Sears is a local legend.  But for me personally  it’s a constant treasure trove of dead stock classic vintage finds and the source for all the best Made in America shoes.


Filed under Classic American Brands, Shoes, Video Blog

Estonian All-Stars

On my recent trip to Tallinn, I had to track down Estonia’s answer to Converse All Stars.  And tracking I did…

After trawling both souvenir shops as well as shoe stores, I was finally told that the best place to buy these special shoes made by Gong was at the post office (?!) in the center of town.  Trekking through the snow, I made my way there, took a number & waited.

The post lady then showed me all the models, which reflect the national costume of different regions of Estonia.  She asked for my size & which region I’d like.  I chose Pärnu.

There I was, discussing size & fit with a postal worker!

I tried them on, asked for a few post card stamps, paid for everything & I was on my way!

Tänan teid Eesti (Props to Estonia!) for the cool tribute to your style culture & mine!

The proud owner wears her new shoes!

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays (this girl) from the swift completion of (her) appointed rounds (to find these shoes!)”


Filed under Accessories, Converse, Shoes

Converse All-Stars

Classic Chuck Taylor's

Produced since 1917, Converse All-Stars are the most popular sports shoe in the world.  Many people refer to All-Stars as “Chuck Taylor’s.”  The shoes’ namesake is best known for being a basketball player, a well-known fixture in the American sports community and the sneaker’s biggest salesman from the 1920s-1960s.  Taylor, whose signature is on the ankle patch, suggested a few design changes and wore white high-tops, but never received a commission payment from Converse.

1950s Basketball Players Wearing Converse All-Stars via Life Photo Archive

Until 1966, All-Stars were available in either the high-top or low-top version and only in black and white.  Nowadays the shoe can be found in a rainbow of colors, patterns and materials.

Off the court, Chuck Taylor’s have always been popular with youth, beginning in the 1950s.  Since that time, the young-at-heart everywhere have favored the shoe for a casual street style. Globally, people are devotees of the shoes. Perhaps the biggest fan of all is Joshua Miller of Washington State, who holds the Guinness World Record for owning 680 pairs!

Converse All-Stars har tillverkats sedan 1917 och är den mest populära idrottsskon i världen. All-Stars kallas ocksa “Chuck Taylors” efter en basketbollspelare, välkänd i det amerikanska idrottsetablissemanget och skons mest kände representant. Taylor, vars signatur finns på skons ankel, föreslog en del förändringar i designen på skon och bar också företagets skor men fick aldrig någon ersättning för detta från Converse.

The Famous Patch

Fram till 1966, fanns All-Stars antingen i en så kallad high top eller low-top variant och bara i svart och vitt. Idag kan skon köpas i alla färger, mönster och material.

När han inte spelade var Chuck Taylor populär hos ungdom. Detta började på 1950-talet. Sedan dess har folk som vill känna sig unga alltid föredragit skon for dess avspända street style. Runt om i världen finns människor som helhjärtat älskar skon, till exempel, Joshua Miller från staten Washington i USA som återfinns i Guinness rekordbok som ägare till 680 par!

© Copyright 2010 Americana

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Filed under Converse, Shoes