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Rick Owens Unveils First, Historic Converse Collaboration

Rick Owens smiling in Paris.

After building quite the shoe business, the designer is linking up with an icon.

In Venice, Italy at his latest show, American designer Rick Owens has unveiled his latest collaboration. Debuted as a part of the fall 2021 men's collection, the style is a partnership with footwear icon Converse.

Owens has built quite the image for himself. The fitness fanatic has cultivated a fashion business that has come to, in part, define a sort of L.A. cool. With a penchant for the sometimes austere and at others languid, the bisexual creative has molded an entire world of his own with a cult following. A staple of community is Owens' footwear: most notably in the form of a heeled boot or a high-top sneaker. The sneakers are undoubtedly one of the larger parts of the business and at one time were made as a part of a deal with Adidas until that contract ended in 2017. He's also created footwear in collaboration with Veja. Now comes Converse.

"I was never a sneaker person, and it's ironic that's how I ended up," Owens toldWWD in an interview about the new partnership.

The Converse styles see Owens return to the brand that was one of the first that he actually liked when it comes to sneakers. He told WWD that it was the punk rock and The Ramones in Chuck Taylors that turned him on to the category -- this is evident when you look at his designs, particularly the Ramones titled Drkshdw style from the spring 2014 collection which is a reintepretation of the Chuck Taylor All Star.

"I've been referencing [Converse] for years, so when they suggested a collaboration, it seemed like a good, natural thing to do," he confirmed.

The collaboration marks the first time that Converse has ever had a style with a square toe. It is a part of Owens' Drkshdw line and includes two TurboDrk Chuck 70s in black. They will later be available in lily white. The styles, which are unisex, will be priced at $165 to $170.

Rick Owen's first Converse collaboration.

"When I see something ubiquitous, I feel like I want to distort it," Owens said in a press release about the design. " I don't know what that's about. Maybe it's some kind of adolescent rage. But that's one of the greatest appeals of the Chuck Taylor All Star."

His design not only features a square toe but the label and license plate are altered. In the description to his livestream of his fashion show he described his 2014 precursor design as a "dumber and louder" version.

"Rick Owens will continue to reimagine and rearticulate classic Converse sneakers in 2021 through his Drkshdw line," Brandis Russell, global vice president of footwear at Converse told WWD. "We'll continue to work together and to push the boundaries of our footwear together."

The collaboration is the first in a series. Fans can receive updates and the release date online as well as by texting DRKSHDW to 75140.

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