Last night in the heart of Downtown’s Arts District, Converse took over The Void 3125C to debut their recent collab with four of Los Angeles’ most well-known streetwear brands. Rokit, RSVP Gallery (the newest kid on the block), CLOT, and Babylon worked with the iconic shoe brand to create four never before seen apparel and footwear designs inspired by the streets of LA.
“We always want to partner with people who have mutual goals and a mutual vision of the brand. I think what we like is that these guys represent different facets of LA street culture and it’s a great time to celebrate LA right now,” Matthew Sleep, Converse’s global design director of footwear, tells us. “It’s a great time for us to celebrate the grassroots and I think these four guys in particular, you have a really good mix of facets of LA culture. They all compliment each other and bring this slightly different aesthetic which is lovely.”
Rokit, the contemporary lifestyle brand that blends together the worlds of basketball and skateboarding, stayed true to their minimalist Japanese roots with a simple and clean beige palette with their signature orange circle logo. They were inspired by all parts of LA, but especially DTLA, where their office is located.
RSVP Gallery, which just opened their second flagship store in Downtown, took the staple yellow of the Lakers with some designs boasting a paisley print and stars. It was the first shoe design for the brand, which was excited about working with Converse and showcasing their interpretation of their hometown.
“We wanted to show a fresh take and show our vision of what LA means to us,” says Lance Jackson, RSVP Gallery’s buyer and store manager. “We wanted to pay homage to the legacy of LA and be true and still keep it streetwear while still being honest our core values.”
CLOT decided to showcase a more relaxed “Cali vibe” as a nod to the California lifestyle. Using a vibrant pop of purple in their designs, they wanted to strike a balance between sophistication and street style. They also used a mix of textures like hairy suede, a natural-feel knit jersey, velour track suit, and bold graphics on their hoodie in their designs.
Babylon is known as LA’s skate culture hub created by the local punk band Trash Talk and has helped create a sense of community for LA’s youth, especially those in the skate scene. They’ve worked with Converse a few times before and Sleep was happy to carry on their relationship with this collaboration. Babylon’s designs showcased an off-white pallet with a reflective silver material that lights up with the flash of a camera or the rays of the sun.
“We just wanted to do something super classic and put our own spin on it.” Garret Stevenson of Trash Talk and Babylon said. “The idea is to take stuff that we love, classic stuff, and make it our own so hopefully kids can take that and do their own with that.”
Nico Guardalabene, one of the men behind Rokit, said it best: “This is an iconic shoe in streetwear, in culture, in everything. Everybody wears Converse, it’s for everybody. I think anybody can put a Converse on and they can go outside and they can feel comfortable about what they’re wearing.”
Ranging between $110 to $120 for footwear and from $45 to $150 for apparel, the limited-edition collection will be shoppable starting Saturday, February 10. Take a peek inside last night’s invite-only event and scroll through the gallery above, then find the goods at Converse.com, Converse Santa Monica, and select global retailers.