Sustainable Fashion

Converse Goes FashionTech With Urban Utility Collection


Converse Urban Utility Collection. This is the new line of weatherproof Converse shoes and jackets for men, produced in partnership with Gore. After many fashion brands, this time is Converse’s crack at fashion-tech products for the modern consumer.
The Nike-owned brand just released its first collection of smart apparel. Converse’s shoes are not known for their ruggedness and a drizzly day can make the company’s trademark canvas sneakers feel like damp paper towels. However, the new line, Urban Utility, is designed to keep the bad weather and the water out.
Converse Urban Utility Collection - green boots in water

Converse Urban Utility Collection – Converse History

Founded in 1908 by Marquis Mills Converse, to start with Converse produced rubber work boots and goloshes and during the World War II, the company made footwear for soldiers. The company keeps evolving and investing in innovative tech and one of the latest collaborations with Hunter for the waterproof Chuck Taylors has resulted in a new line of water-repellent sneakers.

And now, with Gore-Tex, Converse is attempting to build an international high-performance collection of modern products. Urban Utility marks Converse’s first attempt to capture a piece of the growing, functional driven streetwear trend.
Converse Urban Utility Collection - in the lab
With Urban Utility, Converse has kept its casual DNA as reflected on the outside of its shoes and jackets while inside sits an engine of Gore’s technology. “You’ll never see the Gore-Tex unless you want to,” says Doug Crawford, in charge of the Gore collaboration with Converse.

Converse Urban Utility Collection – Gore-Tex Origin

Gore-Tex material has first developed by Bob Gore in the late 1960s when he yanked a heated rod of polytetrafluoroethylene – a polymer used in Teflon cookware – just to see what happened.

The resulted bio-inert plastic is suitable for all kinds of applications, including medical implants and electrical cables. Its most mainstream use, though, came from fashioning the stuff into a paper-thin membrane that could be woven into clothes or used as lining to create breathable, water-resistant fabrics.
Converse Urban Utility Collection - black jacket

Converse Urban Utility Collection – Cali Dewitt

Both companies, Converse and Gore, have a lot to gain from a successful collaboration in the market of functional city clothes. Their success depends on performance and cool-factor, which is why Converse invited Kanye West-approved artist Cali Dewitt to design a few of the items on the Converse Urban Utility collection.

Converse Urban Utility Collection - goretex boots
While Converse brand is known for being accessible from a financial perspective, their new line, Urban Utility, is meant to target a more elevated customer segment. Expect to pay around $400 for an Urban Utility jacket, and somewhere close to $150 on a pair of shoes from the Converse Urban Utility collection line.
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Can the Converse compete with brands like Supreme, which uses exclusivity and high pricing as a marketing tool in the streetwear world? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.

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