Converse turns Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant title jackets into sneakers
Converse decided to craft an ode to a couple of beloved championship squads as they collaborated with streetwear brand Chinatown Market to bring a new twist to their Chuck Taylor and Pro Leather sneakers. The design of the shoes was inspired by the colorful jackets designed by Jeff Hamilton to commemorate the title victories of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1990s and early 2000s with Kobe Bryant, respectively.
“The inspiration for this collaboration started back when I was a basketball fan as a kid,” said Mike Cherman, founder of Chinatown Market. “I could go to the mall and buy vintage jerseys and classic NBA nostalgia as a kid, but I could never get my hands on a Jeff Hamilton jacket, let alone know where they came from at the time.”
The fashion designer in Hamilton, who spent most of his childhood in Paris, was present in each of Michael Jordan’s Finals games in the 90s. He was also in attendance when the Lakers snagged their three-peat crown by way of a series sweep against the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 NBA Finals.
For Hamilton, it was simply surreal to be in the same room and to successfully form a personal bond with a legendary icon like Jordan himself.
“It was a dream of a lifetime – originally meeting Michael, him asking for a jacket,” said Hamilton. “Being in the locker room during those iconic times was something I could have never imagined.”
In their latest collaboration, Chinatown Market lent a hand to Hamilton as they recreated the leather graphics from scratch. Converse is set to release two colorways featuring the Bulls and the Lakers. Each Chuck Taylor sneaker is tagged at $120 while a pair of Pro Leather is priced at $150.
The latest release of Converse only gives a preview of what fans can expect from the brand as they aim to make it back to the top of the sneaker game in the near future.