Converse all over the place

35070530.jpgI’m a relatively big fan of Converse and have appreciated their various styles over the years, most recently obsessing over my John Varvatos, many-eyelet black sneakers. We liked them so much Harlo also bought them in blue, as well as  a pair of great looking light-weight blue pin-striped pants, with rockin’ suspenders, also in the John Varvatos line. I also think the Ramones shoe and other homages to rock and athletic icons makes sense, and isn’t a stretch from Vavatos who links himself to that lineage and recently decided to open up shop in the old CBGB’s space. I have been enjoying Converse’s sort of up-branding of late with the ink to Varvatos, and cross branding with the rock and athletic shoes. But now i’m starting to get confused with the announcement of a line of sportswear and shoes for Target. I’m just starting to wonder if Converse is spreading itself all over the place, and losing site of a core customer base. or maybe they don’t know who their customer base is, and/or are trying to get just about everyone within that fold. However, they’ve never struck me as a for-everyone company.  As fashion and design forward as Target is, they bring a discount for-all type vibe, or at least a mass-market concept and while Converse were never expensive, they always did have a certain in-the-know cache. This is true even when worn through with holes by a skateboarder or glossy white on a vintage basketball players’ court.Generally I’m a big fan of democratizing design, and I’m a big Target shopper, often because of their design-friendly world. I’m not terribly into design elitism.  Trust me, here in Minneapolis you cannot get around Target’s shadow which is mostly good, although not ideal at all times. Regardless, that is another point. The point in this post I’m trying to address is whether a brand does itself a favor by multi-tasking and reaching far and wide for an audience,  or whether it ends up spreading its wings way too far.  Does this create a watered down effect which alienates its core or is it smart to link to the Gap with product Red and Target and the like who are mass market/budget market but somewhat fashion forward.Sure I realize this is similar with the many lines tons of brands have, but somehow it seems more consistent in some than others and always maintaining the same message but at differing price points. To me, Converse is starting to just seem all over the place. Although I’m sure some would argue a fashion forward discounter is more in line with Converse than an upscale designer, but, my gut is mixed on this one and is leaning toward disagreeing.

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2 Comments

  • Worn Through » Converse is off my $*!List
    February 26, 2009 - 5:13 pm

  • sandrar September 10, 2009 04.03 pm

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

     

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