When it came to the world of fashion on Thursday, the road traveled first through Porterville.
Even though the event was held in Venice, Italy, the influence came from Porterville as Monache graduate Rick Owens, one of the world's most notable fashion designers, debuted his fall 2021 collection. His collection consisted of his latest 2021 menswear leather bodysuits.
As part of the debut of his collection Owens also introduced his new design of the classic “Chuck Taylors,” the Converse All-Star sneakers in a collaboration with Converse.
Owens is an ex-patriot living abroad who has showcased his collection as an exploration of “male suppressed rage on every side of the moral divide,” he said.
“I always kind of comfort myself that the world has always existed with darkness and light. And for some reason, there always seems to be enough goodness in humanity to just balance it out, and just to keep everything going. It’s close…but hope springs eternal,” said Owens, who also attended Porterville College.
In its coverage of Owens fall collection, GQ magazine described it as “a confrontational, brilliant collection from the dark lord of fashion.”
The collection can be seen at Owens' website: https://www.rickowens.eu
His interpretation of the Converse All-Stars are known as the DRKSHDW SS14 Ramones and also as the TURBODKR Chuck 70. Ramones is an appropriate term since Owens described the shoes as Chuck Taylors meeting punk rock.
"When I think of Converse, I think of the black and white Chuck Taylors and the punk rock generation. These have always been iconic pillars of my aesthetic," said Owens in a press release. "Wearing Chuck Taylors, you align yourself with a generation that was experimental. There is a confident dynamic to the subculture.
"When I see something ubiquitous, I feel like I want to distort it. I don’t know what that’s about. Maybe it’s some kind of adolescent rage. But that’s one of the greatest appeals of the Chuck Taylor All Star."
In his redesign of the Converse All-Stars, Owens has bent and reshaped the shoes while extending the tongue. He has also for the first time in history in Converse provided a squared-off toe.
The classic black shoes will also be later available in white. The styles are unisex and will be priced at $165 to $170.
For more information on the shoes visit go.converse.com/DRKSHDW. Those interested can text "DRKSHDW" to 75140 for a chance to be one of the first to access the collection.
Journalist Joey Krebs, who has contributed to The Recorder in the past, contributed to this story.