Before we start our brief history lesson regarding the shoes’ design, let’s get the technicalities out of the way first. The ‘Souvenir Jacket’ collection for Holiday 2015 consists of two pairs of sneakers; one is a black pair accompanied with crouching tigers —no hidden dragons here! Please laugh— while the other has snakes and skulls wrapped around its dark blue body and hints of green and pink to make it stand out more. Both pairs are made of soft goat leather and have satin linings, but its ankle patches, toecaps rounded rope laces are made of leather.
Now we can get down to business. After WWII, departing U.S. servicemen and women wanted a memorabilia of sort to remind them of their time in Asia (because history books weren’t enough). They commissioned a Japanese tailor to embellish their garments with iconography that symbolised both Eastern and American cultures such as tigers, dragons, flowers and trees, eagles, military regalia, local maps, and squadron names. We’ll let you decide which belonged to whom.
The jacket quickly gained popularity because of its uniqueness — and in the ’60s, an unidentified “disruptive youth subculture” decided to don said jackets as a means of expressing their defiance against mainstream conformity. Our guess of said group is between hippies or bikers because who else would stand for such a cause? How does this relate to the sneakers? Well, the embroidered garments were typically made of silk or satin, which would’ve been impossible to adapt onto sneakers, hence using goat leather as it was the closest and seasonally relevant material. The design, well, it’s in respect to both cultures if that weren’t obvious enough.
End of session! Check the shoes out below:
The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star ‘70 ‘Souvenir Jacket’ retails at RM599 (inclusive of GST) and is available from today onwards at Sole What Mid Valley and The Gardens.