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What went down at the Pleasures x Converse London event

A chat with Pleasures co-founder Alex James

What went down at the Pleasures x Converse London event
A chat with Pleasures co-founder Alex James
What went down at the Pleasures x Converse London event A chat with Pleasures co-founder Alex James

Yesterday in London went down the event to present the collaboration between Converse and Pleasures, the LA-based brand co-founded by Alex James. The challenge was reinterpreting a Converse classic like the Pro Leather, the silhouette first created in 1976 as a basketball shoe and soon turned into a symbol of street culture thanks to the NBA champions and hip-hop artists who were wearing it. 
The collaboration with Pleasures drew inspiration from another youth culture of that time: punk was the source of inspiration for the graphics on the upper part and for the black nuance, in contrast with the sole and the Converse Chevron logo. The suede inserts on the upper are intertwined with creped plastic while on the back of the sneaker stands out the writing 
"Pleasures Now". 
In the Soho area, nss magazine had the chance to catch up with Alex James himself, co-founder of Pleasures, to get to know better the inspiration behind this Converse collaboration and the close relationship that the brand has with music.

#1 What was the main difficulty in reinterpreting a classic like the Converse Pro Leather?

The original Doctor J shoe was white and red and we wanted to do something totally different and more of our style. So we took it all black, the upper, the PU, just completely different style, and the shoe looks way different. 

#2 What does the quote inserted in the upper part of the sneaker mean? And who is it for?

The baseline here is for those who put up a fake facade, all those people going on social media. We all have our internal demons and they have to come out on the outside. So I think it’s just a nice reminder to be like ‘Don’t lie to yourself and keep it real’. 

#3 On the Pleasures Instagram profile, we came across the Spotify playlists. Tell me three songs that describe this collaboration with Converse.

Yes, the song playing now Just Like You by Viagra Boys, Collateral by Egyptian Blue, the song we used in the video we made to present the sneaker, and Dead Souls by Joy Division. 

#4 Why does basketball aesthetics keep on influencing streetwear constantly and so strongly?

I think it was when Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, changed the rules of having the entranceway being like the runway for athletes to wear whatever they wanted. And they realized that they were regular guys and that they wanted to wear cool clothes too. We had a lot of the younger rookies wearing Pleasures before and after the game and I think it’s a natural synergy between basketball and us as people. We’re basketball fans at heart and basketball is probably the best American sport. 

#5 If you were to choose between the Lakers and Clippers? 

Clippers all day. 2020 World Champs. 

#6 After the London event, what will be the next steps for Pleasures? Projects for the new year?

The next step is trying to do more concerts like this, becoming like a music platform for people to learn and for us to educate about music that we’re inspired by. And to travel and have fun.