Adored for their iconic street-style classics, Converse reimagines the future alongside All Star creatives Nav, Bobby and Feben.
Dedicated to evolving their designs alongside the next generation of creatives, Converse have created this summer’s new must-have kicks in the Run Star Motion. Reflecting the energy and motion of global changemakers, the brand’s new exaggerated, forward-thinking sculptural high tops redefine our love of iconic Y2K platforms. Our wannabe teen-Baby-Spice-selves would eat their hearts out!
“At Converse, we are incredibly proud of our heritage which serves as a point of departure for a Design and Innovation approach that’s pushing our brand to new space,” said Phil Russo, VP of Global Design and Innovation, speaking on the brand’s new CX design venture. The recent announcement of the arrival of three brand new silhouettes – the first of which is the Run Star Motion- marks the beginning of the next era of Converse’s design and innovation, which will be captured under their new annual “Create Next” campaign.
To celebrate the launch of the silhouette, we’ve teamed up with Converse to challenge All Stars Nav, Bobby and Feben to show us how they style their very own Run Star Motions and create next through their own design practices.
Levelling Up With Nav and Bobby
Northamptonshire-based siblings, designers and shoemakers Nav and Bobby describe their practice as “raw trompe l’oeil craftsmanship”. For non-French speakers, ‘trompe-l’œil’ is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions.
Although exceptionally design-driven, the planet is their priority. “Our primary focus is to create timeless pieces, as we don’t want to create disposable products that will end up in a wasteland,” the duo explain.
While discussing their content collaboration with BRICKS and Converse, they explain that their concept leans on the shoe’s initial design makeup and explores the theory of being built from the ground. “It reflects the Nangla journey and how we’re building our creative path from the bottom up.”
A focal point of the series is Northampton’s lift tower, the tallest feature in the town. “It’s a poignant feature across the Northampton skyline and represents that as we create more and evolve, we wish to grow to that level and take our journey to new heights.” The family duo take The Run Star Motion to new heights, and honours its design to fuel movement, “we wanted to reflect this pace and energy in the images we captured.”
Being a part of the community, which has such a family feel, is amazing as we’re surrounded by so much great next-gen talent which is really inspiring.
Navinder & Bobby
What one piece of advice would you give the next generation of creatives?
Whatever passion you have. Live it, breathe it, eat it and regurgitate it. You need it to consume you and eat you alive.
What person(s) have inspired you the most throughout your career?
(N) “The greats like Jun Takahashi, Martin Margiela, Alexander McQueen, Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso – I could go on and on but these are the first which are stored in my head. I love how destructive they are through their creative process, and how they mix dark horror of works whilst retaining a balance of beauty to them.”
(B) “Madlib is one of my favourite musicians of all time. I love his work as he keeps everything raw and untouched which I use for my ethos when it comes to designing. Everything he creates goes beyond trends and feels fresh which is what I want to achieve in my products.”
What does it mean to you to be part of the Converse community’?
“Being a part of the community, which has such a family feel, is amazing as we’re surrounded by so much great next-gen talent which is really inspiring. It’s a place where we can collaborate with fellow All Stars to generate new ideas and execute them, and are given opportunities and the support to keep learning and making creative progress.”
London-based, recent Central Saint Martins fashion graduate and BFC NEWGEN 21’s Feben is reclaiming feelings of displacement by drawing on personal experiences of nomadism. Her collections often shine a light on the importance of embracing community and takes a surrealistic approach to exploring the visual codes of Black life from across the globe.
For BRICKS, Feben’s frequent collaborator, image-maker Dexter, captures the Run Star Motion’s dynamic design while incorporating aspects of Feben’s own work which highlights the manipulation of fabrics. To reflect the new lines of design language and experimentation the silhouette explores, Feben developed visuals which mix movement and distort through collage.
At the heart of her work, Feben aims to create more opportunities and exposure for marginalised communities. This ambition is reflected in her role as a Converse All Star, the programme that initiates young talent into Converse’s creative incubator, providing access to mentorship, commissions and funding.
I’m a designer but firstly a person and [Black Minds Matter] is something I stand for as a person. It’s important that we care about our community.
What work have you done that’s been the most important to you?
“I think one of the most significant I have made recently was the Dolls 2020 project I made into a t-shirt for Black Minds Matter. Although it was just a t-shirt it was something that I really want to push as a designer, I think it’s important to be able to have entry price products that people can buy into.
The dolls were actual dolls that were handmade and photographed by Dexter Lander. We replicated my MA collection and shot what was originally shot by Liz Artur Johnson. We made a micro version of it and printed it on a t-shirt, with all proceeds going to the incredible initiative Black Minds Matter.
I feel like this way of working is something I’d like to do more of and something that’s definitely needed in this industry. I’m a designer but firstly a person and it’s something I stand for as a person. It’s important that we care about our community.”
Tell us about the story and concept of your Converse Create Next photo series…
“We wanted to create something fun with movement, I tried to bring an element of my world into this.”
What are your hopes and dreams for the future of the creative industry?
“I’m hoping to see more inclusivity, minorities taking up space and for people to actually make a continuous effort for change.”
Lastly, what will you create next?
“I’m currently creating SS22 and presenting it with British Fashion Council NEWGEN 2021.”
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