Converse Flagship Taps into Local Scene
US shoe brand Converse has opened its first store in San Francisco with a highly local-centric concept featuring original artworks by local artists, and limited edition footwear emblazoned with San-Fran-inspired graphics.
The two-storey shop is Converse’s largest US retail space to date at 8,200 sq ft and boasts a large gallery-like space on the second floor, hosting women’s and kids footwear and art by local stars, sculptor/painter Andrew Schoultz and photographer Andrew Paynter.
Part retail space, part events venue, the destination consciously tips a nod towards Converse’s continued embrace of the music industry as a central thread within its marketing strategy. Indeed, in the run up to the June 28 opening, it hosted several free concerts in a nearby music club as part of its Converse Represent series, including home-grown act The She’s.
The new store also showcases the Converse Customization service, which allows clients to browse through more than 150 specially curated graphics (including a batch of San Fran-related designs), which can be screen-printed onto footwear or apparel. It will also sell a limited edition run of Chuck Taylor All Stars (the brand’s signature shoe), sporting graphics of local landmarks.
Creative collaborations are nothing new for Converse. In a bid to identify itself as a brand that values artistic expression, past partnerships have yielded limited edition shoe designs with French high-fashion brand Givenchy and New York’s Ace Hotel.
For more on locally inspired or community-oriented store concepts, see Community and Commerce, Foot Locker’s Local Centric Concept Store, Boxpark: London’s Pop-Up Mall and Quiksilver's Local Lifestyle Flagship.