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Brief Published: 5 Jul 2013

Converse Flagship Taps into Local Scene

Extra

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. 

For more on this topic, see Music & Retail: New Romance, SXSW Brands and Bands and Let's Hear it for the Girls.

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.

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