Every kid who grew up and turned into a crusty 20-something media type will recall their first pair of Converse; faithful rubber-soled friends getting steadily more battered through rain or shine. Mine were a cheerful burgundy pair that I jazzed up with pink fuzzy laces and drew all over (I was 15 and thought, nay KNEW, I was super cool, cut a gal some slack…)
They pounded the slimy floor of the Astoria – God rest it’s soul – and tramped up and down Camden Lock narrowly avoiding getting doughnut filling, drops of Hooch and fried chicken grease all over them. My best friends and I would save our cash for gigs and train tickets, our trainers scrawled with the names of the bands we’d seen in sharpie and tippex, over and over, descending into a grey mess. They traveled to Reading for my first mudbath of a festival, escaped unscathed yet caked in beer-soaked slime, never to be the same again. For the longest time, I refused to buy new trainers; my hi-tops had been good to me. I probably still have that first pair in a box somewhere, a scabby monument to carefree teenage years. They begat a good few more pairs raging in fabric from shiny silver to brown corduroy that would see their own fair share of adventures.
These same best friends and I still do a marginally more mature version of these outings – think merlot over Hooch and Nando’s over Chicken Cottage – and shake our slightly older, wider butts in new slimy clubs, our trainers now, as once they did, allowing us to bounce like 15 year olds. Although now we have the daily grind of work and responsibility the next day rather than just rushing bits of A-level coursework, we can still briefly forget about it and let off steam.
The new Converse campaign makes me think of exactly this feeling, being messy and stupid and living in the moment. My trainers may not be covered in tippex now but they’re still serving me well…
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