For a couple years, Converse ran an ad campaign called Wall to Wall. Artists were asked to paint a mural in their style and asked to include Chuck Taylor shoes in a subtle way. The murals were painted all over the country, and a single photo of the mural being painted would be used on the back cover of Juxtapoz magazine. In 2013, Converse asked me to get involved, and it became the archetypal brand collaboration in my opinion. For four full days, we painted a giant mural in Williamsburg (then the largest wall I had painted). Converse basically acted as a patron of the arts, providing the neighborhood residents with a beautiful mural without any logos or corporate branding. The five characters represented various Converse core values, and the only branding was the shoes they wore. The mural generated a LOT of posts on social media, which was ideal for the brand and me. After the mural came down after three months, I saw several disappointed posts on social media. The color and optimism of the mural was clearly a positive contribution to the neighborhood and was sorely missed once it came down.
In early 2014, the next level of our collaboration came about. I was one of just a handful of Wall to Wall artists that had been asked to design a Chuck Taylor shoe. It’s such an iconic shoe that I was honored to provide a design. The artwork was fixed on the different panels of the shoes, but the color of every other detail could be customized (such as the stitching, rubber sole, eyelets, laces, back stripe and customized writing). Offering consumers a limited edition sneaker at a fair price is really nice souvenir of the big mural.
About a year later, Converse launched another ad campaign, which featured the dirty, worn-in shoes of various artists, musicians and personalities. I had been wearing the same pair of pink Chuck Taylors for the big mural and several others so it was the final piece to tie our collaboration together. The photo of my shoes appeared on billboards around the world.