Submitted by Evan Witten, found on www.sneakerfreaker.com
Converse’s 1HUND(RED) Artists is a year long global project to support Converse’s long-term partnership with (PRODUCT) RED and commemorate the brands 100th anniversary celebration in 2008.
One hundred artists from all over the world have been given the opportunity to show their creativity and to design a Converse product to celebrate culture and support The Global Fund. 10% of the net wholesale price of the artist collaborated shoes goes towards the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. To taste a few of the styles that are being released, Sneaker Freaker, (sneakerfreaker.com) has given bio’s on three of the one hundred artists and will keep releasing shoes as they are designed
First off is artist number 30, who goes by Jeremyville. He hails from Australia and started off as a cartoon artist for a local Sydney newspaper. Speaking about his design submission for Converse 1HUND(RED) Artists, he says, “I wanted this to be a shoe design that my friends and I would personally wear. I see this design worn with a pair of tight black jeans, vintage t-shirt and a pair of old 70s blended sunglasses. I kept that final mental image in mind throughout the design process.” He is definitely loyal to the brand, “I’ve worn Chuck Taylor All Star high-top shoes since the age of about 13. My current pair is more a collection of paint splatters than an actual shoe. I think the paint is holding the shoe together.” Jeremyville is also the author of “Vinyl Will Kill,” a book on designer toys, such as Kid Robot, and “Jeremyville Sessions,” published by IdN, a study in collaborative art with over 300 artists and companies. He gives credit to those who care such as this collection of artists, “There’s nothing as powerful as a group of respected artists banding together with a credible company to make stuff happen. I can’t wait to see the results. I’m really proud to be invited to be a part of it.”
The next artist is artist number 38 who goes by the Global Creative Director of Converse Footwear, Scott Patt has over 11 years of design experience working for some of the top footwear and fashion and athletic companies in America. Beyond his achievements in commercial design, he is an artist who has been featured in exhibits in cities around the world from San Francisco to Tokyo. “I spend a lot of my time thinking about ways in which we connect to one another, the ways we link or not, our literal and figurative ‘footprint’ and the stories we craft along the way.” For Patt’s design, he created circular patterns radiating from the Chuck Taylor All Star ankle patch to symbolize energy transcending through the masses to create change. “I imagine it like in the old cartoon where the character would send out his sonar beacon to all the animals of the sea when he needed help.” The multitudes of colors represent the diversity of people connected to the (RED) initiative but also the many colors in which people see the world. And about his design inspirations, Patt added, “I love the idea of all of us working to make it to tomorrow and how we are all connected to one another within our collective daily walk. Its how we do it that inspires me.”
Artist #12, Dr. Romanelli aka Dr. X is a self-styled, self-taught designer grew up in Los Angeles and describes his approach to design as a “cut-and-paste” method, ripping apart vintage fabrics and throwing them back together again in new and unexpected ways and styles, the “Frankenstein of fashion” as he put it. “I’ve always liked the idea of taking something apart and putting it back together,” he said. His pseudonyms “Dr. Romanelli” and “DRx” were born of the studio’s methodology, with the majority of his design ideas and inspiration coming from vintage garments. Hence, the “Dr.” component of his alter ego as the “doctor of cloth.” As a professional multi-tasker, he thrives on the “infectious electricity” created by the many projects that go on simultaneously in his studio. Regarding his design submission for the Converse 1HUND(RED) Artists project, he explained, “I wanted to create a visual image that was representative of the healing process. The idea of using adhesive bandages was to illustrate protection and to symbolize hope for a cure.”
Converse 1HUND(RED) Artist # 4 brings something completely different to the table with this collection. An industrial trained designer Umbereen Qureshi usually designs cars having worked on auto projects for major auto makers including various concept cars, show cars and interiors. She describes her involvement in Converse 1HUND(RED) Artists as “…a great honor. A chance to use design and the thought process behind the chosen styling to convey an important message.” Her design submission for the project features a repeated image of Africa on a black on black chuck with red piping. “The repetition of the African continent was to inspire a continual thought” she explained. “Too often we look at something that inspires a thought or feeling only to turn the page or change the channel and file the thought away in our subconscious, never to resurface again. We’re taught in school that if we want to remember something, we should constantly repeat it…the key element is the repetition.” She speaks on the power of art saying, “I believe artists have an incredible skill to create work that can communicate something; so many different mediums with so many different voices. Sometimes it takes more than words to convey a thought, and artists have the ability to harness that universal language and use it to speak to everyone.” The universality of the AIDS epidemic, within and beyond the African continent, holds particular urgency for Umbereen. “There is no such thing as an ‘African’ crisis or any other country or ethnicity,” she says. “We’re all human beings, and when one of us suffers as a result of a global epidemic somewhere in the world, then all humanity suffers as well.”