American shoe company Converse, based in North Andover, Massachusetts, is a wholly owned subsidiary of sportswear giants Nike. Established in 1908, the Converse brand has been associated over the years with a rich heritage of legendary shoes including the Chuck Taylor All Star, the Jack Purcell and the One Star.
It launched its skateboarding programme in 2009 with a team of ‘ambassadors’ featuring Kenny Anderson, Anthony Pappalardo, Nick Trapasso, Sammy Baca, Ethan Fowler, Raymond Molinar and Rune Glifberg. The team currently consists of original members Anderson, Trapasso, Baca, Glifberg and Molinar, plus new additions including Jason Jessee, Mike Anderson, Zered Bassett, Andrew Brophy and Pontus Alv.
The company’s Fall 2013 collection offered twists on traditional silhouettes and technology, including the Trapasso signature PRO II and the CONS CTS – they joined other models in the current Converse skate range including the Sea Star, Elm, KA-II, Skidgrip CVO and the Star Player. Converse also sponsors a number of skate events, including Coastal Carnage at Huntington Beach, California in August 2012, where Ben Raybourn won the US$20,000 grand prize and Aaron Homoki won the US$3,000 Best Trick contest.
Among the highlights of Converse’s video releases over recent years has been a short film by Pontus Alv called Trocadéro Days, in which Alv cruises around Paris with a jump ramp and a couple of plates. The film was inspired by 1989 – the year when skateboarding really went global – and the Converse CONS CTAS Pro Skate sneakers.