Since the Converse shoe brand began in 1908, the company has grown to be one of the most iconic trademarks in the U.S. The company's most recognisable shoe is the Chuck Taylor All Star, which today graces the feet of men and women alike. However, there are other collections within the Converse line that continue to embody the classic Chuck Taylor style.
Among these is the One Star collection, which debuted as a low-cut, suede version of the original canvas Converse basketball oxford. A new take on the All Stars, the current One Star collection has expanded and is targeted to a slightly different audience.
Converse Inc. first garnered attention with its All Star Collection. This shoe, with a rubber sole, lace-up top and Converse star logo on the side, was designed to play basketball in. In 1918, basketball player Chuck Taylor joined the Converse family. Soon after, All Star shoes were known as Chuck Taylor All Stars, and spread nationwide. Originally available in black, today Chuck Taylor All Star shoes are available in colours ranging from hot pink to silver satin.
The One Star label premiered in 1974. Although these shoes were made of different material from the All Stars, the original One Stars still featured a Converse star logo on the side. However, instead of the round Converse All Star design with the star in the middle, surrounded by writing, the new shoe had just the star, for One Star.
The collection spent the rest of the 1970s and '80s as part of the West Coast surf and skate scene. However, in the '90s, One Star shoes could be seen on the feet of grunge music lovers, a homage the retro aspects of their alternative lifestyle.
In 2007, the One Star collection was once again at the forefront of the Converse label. That November, the company teamed with Target to design a line of One Star apparel and footwear for the retail store. The vintage-inspired collection of T-shirts, dresses, jeans, jackets, swimwear and shoes is available for men, women and children. Although the All Star line has expanded since its inception, it doesn't offer any clothing or accessories.
Although Chuck Taylor All Stars and the One Star collections seem to dominate, Converse offers other lines of shoes and accessories. In 2001, designer John Varvatos created a high-end line for the shoe company, which expanded into other collections. Canadian badminton player Jack Purcell lent his name to a Converse shoe in 1935.
Today, the Converse website offers the option to custom-make shoes. The company also sells a Sport Authentics line; footwear for skateboarding; and a (PRODUCT) RED collection, which helps raise funds for AIDS research.