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The digital launch of Converse's All Stars Program

A community of creators to promote the voices and talents of the next generation

The digital launch of Converse's All Stars Program A community of creators to promote the voices and talents of the next generation

Few brands in recent years have had the opportunity and the ability to build a common, cool and penetrating imagery like Converse. The collaborations with Tyler, the Creator, ASAP Nast, and more recently Samuel Ross have catapulted the brand into the solid position of those who created a very defined and especially contemporary aesthetic, which has cascaded in many different national realities, from the English one, with the partnerships with Octavian or Lava La Rue, to the Italian one. One of the cornerstones of the brand's recent strategy was the research, scouting and promotion of figures who could meet the role of "All Stars": «emerging leaders champion change in sport and culture», as the brand defines them, with the objective «to hone their creative talents and amplify their voices — supported by opportunities to co-create creative work and shape the future of Converse on its social and digital platforms».

The All Stars Program was unveiled to channel under a single digital hub - which continues the work of the physical All Star Series. nss magazine was present at the digital launch, which saw the involvement of some of the key designers of contemporary streetwear, including Virgil Abloh and Samuel Ross, the special performances of Octavian and Tobe Nwigwe, a multimedia artist still little known in Italy but with enormous capabilities and potential.  Inside the classes, opened by the CEO of Converse, Scott Uzzell, have found space some of the most interesting black creatives on the contemporary US scene: Tramaine Emory, the mastermind behind Denim Tears, who just a few weeks ago had mobilized Instagram with a pair of Chuck 70s customized with the pan-African flag of David Hammons. Or Issa Rae, the creator of Insecure and one of the brightest artists of the new generation of black creators. During the second day, however, the discussion between Samuel Ross and Virgil Abloh monopolized the attention, starting from the mentorship history of Abloh and Ross, coming to what this generation of black designers can do for the whole black community.

«We may have a role similar to that of civil rights activists of the 1960s», Abloh said, referring to the fundamental role of black designers and black artists in general in the particular historical moment experienced by the USA. Especially during the first day of sessions - which was not coincidey called "Taking Creative Action" - there was much talk about the role that art, fashion and design can have in moving the consciences of young people - through mobilization to vote, for example. 

This two-day event was also an opportunity to launch Converse All Star Captains, a million-dollar acceleration program that will support the activities of a dozen All Star creatives engaged in the fields of inclusiveness, sustainability and diversity. A program that will start in October - when the All Stars have the opportunity to present their individual ideas to Converse - and will develop over the next 9 months. Converse's commitment and the relevance of the mentorship role are well represented by a film written by Ify White-Thorpe under the mentorship of Issa Rae, with original music by James and Philip Matthew under the mentorship of Tyler The Creator and directed by Leo Aguirre. A modus operandi that has become the brand's trademark and - Spencer McMullen's recruiting by Tyler is an example - with the intention of rewriting the future.