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converse midnight studios shane gonzales collaboration
Converse x Midnight StudiosCourtesy of Converse

LA label Midnight Studios turns classic Converse styles inside-out

As part of a collab launching this week, founder Shane Gonzales reimagined the legendary Chuck Taylor and One Star sneakers

Back in 2014, aged just 20, Shane Gonzales created Midnight Studios: a streetwear brand taking references in the 70s punk era led by Vivienne Westwood and the Sex Pistols. The designer built his LA-based label for today’s youth, with his new wave-inspired slogan clothing gaining support from A$AP Rocky and Virgil Abloh, who both worked with Gonzales on a collaboration for A$AP Mob’s brand AWGE. Now, four years after his debut collection, he's still making waves with styles rooted in music subcultures – which recently caught the eye of footwear brand Converse, who approached him to work on a collaborative project.

“Converse is an essential sneaker to us, and to the many people who inspire us.” Gonzales explains. “At Midnight Studios, we draw our inspiration from popular culture and music history and when thinking of a timeless shoe that fits that description, (Converse) makes perfect sense.” At the start of the project, the young designer delved into the 110-year history of the footwear brand to reimagine the traditional Chuck Taylor 70 and One Star. “Both styles are such well designed and timeless shoes, we knew that adding our DIY and non-traditional design elements would still allow for these Converse styles to be recognized and seen in a new light,” he explained.

While the iconic Converse silhouette remains untouched, the all-white trainers feature graphic lines and a clean aesthetic as the internal details of the shoes are revealed on the outside. “In the past with our collections, we’ve simply turned staple garments inside out for a whole new look and energy, exposing raw edges and seams for a deconstructed feel,” said the designer. “Applying this to our favourite sneaker was a no-brainer.”

In the campaign images, both shoe styles – the One Star bearing a graphic star and the Chuck Taylor, with its round logo turned inside out – are worn by a group of models hanging out near an LA canal. The minimal background reflects the design of the trainers that only carry the Converse and Midnight Studios logos on the laces. 

Speaking of the project and what working with such a legendary brand means to him, Gonzales explains it feels like a milestone for both Midnight Studios and his career in design: “Seeing the final product, completed and ready for public consumption...it's truly a unique feeling.”