If any brand should be aware of it’s own market, it’s Converse. For decades upon decades Converse has been the go to footwear for any disenfranchised kid fixated on the longing for independence who wants to fulfill the aesthetic of rebellious cool. Their new Spring collaboration with JW Anderson centered around a series of 3 films by the acclaimed yet controversial director Larry Clark (known for his brutal and unflinching depictions of teen angst such as Kids and Bully) proves that they are still just as aware of this image and adept at maintaining it as they were when you couldn’t see a picture of Kurt Cobain without a pair of Chucks on.
Kids was shocking but deft in it’s depictions of the sector of youth in the mid ’90’s that people were either blissfully unaware of or refused to talk about while also being a scathing critique of toxic masculinity and the way that toxicity is ingrained into boys from such a young age. With this in mind what makes these films so refreshing and downright beautiful is how positive, sincere, intimate and genuinely touching the interactions between the kids in these films are. They hug each other and hold hands regardless of any perceptions of gender or fear of being perceived as “too soft” which stands in stark contrast to the subjects of Kids who would likely beat each other up before being caught dead showing physical affection to one another.
The youth of today is far different than it used to me. More than any generation before it, Gen Z is embracing platonic love and removing the stigmas associated with showing sincere affection and emotion to your friends. They’re creating positive change by embracing the love shared amongst themselves and bringing it into society as a whole. This is a wonderful thing and Converse, JW Anderson and Larry Clark are doing the forward-thinking and smart thing with this campaign by not only embracing it but portraying it in such a genuine and honest way.
JW Anderson Creative Director | Jonathon Anderson
Director | Larry Clark
Asst. Directors | Jonathan Valesquez & Eddie Velasquez