GOODHOOD sits down with NEIGHBORHOOD designer Shinsuke Takizawa to learn more about the upcoming NEIGHBORHOOD x Converse footwear collection. Choosing to work with two iconic Converse styles, the Chuck Taylor and One Star, Takizawa sheds light on his wide ranging influences for the collection including motorcycle culture and punk and heavy metal music. Read the full interview now at GOODHOOD and look for the NEIGHBORHOOD x Converse collection to drop April 6th at select Converse dealers.
What were some of the main inspirations for the new collaboration?
Some of my main inspirations for Neighborhood are old signage, old parts and old motorcycles, but this time with Converse, my inspiration and focus was a little bit more modern. I always listen to many, many types of music. From punk rock to heavy metal, even slash metal. That image is what I had in mind. And, even though I don’t do it myself, skateboarding too.
The Chuck Taylor All Star 70 features an additional leather strip across the front, what was the reason for this design?
Shoe damage happens usually quite fast with regular use, and particularly on a motorcycle, the upper foot is regularly used by the shift gear. When you’re riding with a regular shoe, the regular sole is a little soft and not as strong. Traditionally, Converse is already a good shoe. So by using a little more leather, we tried to make it a bit of a more boot style for more support. When you shift up while riding, you have to use the upper part of your foot and it’s more protected and in more of a sturdy position. I designed the strap on both sides, because English motorcycles have their shift gears on the right side, while in the US it’s located on the left.