This week, Black Magazine have partnered with all time favourites Converse and Converse X in Los Angeles for the latest drop of their GOLF le FLUER* collaboration. Co-Editor, Ethan Butler spent the week connecting with the latest global Converse X representatives and on Thursday worked with them to create a creative and exclusive editoral around the incredible new sneaker range.
In the Summer of 2017, Tyler, The Creator began reinterpreting the Converse One Star, introducing his “flower” design to the silhouette that has come to define the signature GOLF le FLEUR* collection.
Each iteration has taken fans into Tyler, The Creator’s world of expression - at times, a bold interpretation of two-tone suede, others, a subdued palette of monochrome hues – all evolving alongside Tyler’s personal style and music, as a reflection of his view of the world.
His exploration of the brand’s classics has allowed for continued experiments in color, fit, material and proportion, and pushed him as a creative and designer.
Now, the two brands introduce the next chapter of Converse x GOLF le FLEUR* and its name is Gianno.
With a desire to push the boundaries of footwear design, Tyler and Converse set sights on engineering a new concept – one distinctly crafted to enable unabashed styling, both for the designer and wearer. For Tyler, the Gianno serves as yet another proof point of his ever-evolving position as the ultimate “Creator.” For Converse, it demonstrates prowess in pulling from familiar histories and styles, to reimagine its footwear from the ground up.
Synthesizing these essentials, as well as some of Tyler's starting points — influences from outdoor footwear, running and basketball — the result is something unconventionally multidimensional. While there are outdoor vibes, it isn't immediately a hiking shoe. And, while the midsole drafts of the Converse ERX series, the basketball DNA is suppressed there even if it comes across more overtly elsewhere.
The silhouette touts a lugged outsole with geometric tread and is set lower. Equipped with a midfoot shank, the shoe is stable. The tread pattern is rugged and its nod to Converse's 90s basketball archive is another surprise crossover element. In short, the shoe is a combination of style and function. And, easily defined by its architected combination of leather, suede and mesh layers.
The mix of materials gives the upper a rich dimensionality, while the various color choices allow Tyler to investigate both retro and contemporary influences, whether it be current runway culture or the lineage of trail running. And, through its sculpted, fitted upper with its mini debossed fleur motif and reflective eye rows weaving through the design, the sneaker is dimensionalized from all angles.
For Tyler, the Gianno marks the next chapter into his assault on fashion. Plus… he thinks the style name sounds great in his lyrics.
Words: Ethan Butler