What’s up, everybody? It’s your boy Legendary Lade back with another week of “Kickin’ Facts”! It’s the first article of the month and I want to set the tone for an informative August. It’s also my first time reviewing a Converse-led collab, and this pair features NYC-based brand Barriers, a company that puts the history of prominent and not-so-known African American leaders at the forefront of all their releases. The Converse x Barriers Chuck 70 is a ceremonious collaboration celebrating wisdom, courage, vision, and the notion that true power comes from within. Barriers chose the Chuck 70, a classic Converse model that debuted in the 1970s and was then updated in 2013.
Its base is black, distressed, double-ply canvas with a pre-worn discolored toe box and thick sole. The pre-worn discoloration gives the effect of a lived-in sneaker and adds an instant vintage look and feel. You’ll also find distressed shoelace holes in between the standard lacing holes and mismatched laces: one is black, green and red; the other is green, yellow and red, no doubt a nod to the Pan-African flag.
Another personal detail that I like is the introduction of cowrie shells as lace locks. Cowrie shells were once one of the most important symbols of wealth and money for centuries. The shells are also known to bring luck to and protect the spirit of the wearer, amongst other spiritual connotations. The intentional pairing of cowrie shells, Pan-African-colored laces, and anecdotes on the sneakers make for an exceptional collab debut from the Barriers brand. I also have to highlight the beautiful black box that these sneakers are housed in, which features North star constellations — another nod to African American history.
What are your thoughts on these? Did you cop? The Converse x Barriers Chuck 70 were released on July 21 for $110 and are available now along with apparel at Converse.com