Barber, skater, designer and stylist Ibn Jasper has teamed up with Converse for a brand new take on its classic Pro Leather silhouette. Growing up in 1980s Chicago, Ibn heavily rotated the silhouette as well as Converse’s Weapon on the basketball courts, which further intensified his love for sneaker culture.
Worn by Julius Erving on the pro court in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Converse has reissued its archived Pro Leather silhouette for the project, with Ibn reinterpreting the classic in a way that combines basketball, skating, and music. Ibn notes that the shoe’s “aesthetic is based on a photo of Dr. J. walking into the arena with an all-white outfit. He looks like he just stepped off of the runway. I thought to myself: ‘How can I distill this image and vibe into a capsule collection?’.”
Doused in white leather with a grey suede overlap near the midsole, the shoe honors Erving’s sophisticated style, offering itself up as an homage to the player’s legacy within Basketball. The shoe features embossed Roman numerals near the collar, further granting a sense of historical weight to the contemporary take. More details include a zipper that runs vertically down the lacing region, a “1976” lace dubrae that nods to the year of the shoe’s debut, a snaked embossed tongue, brass hardware, embossed Stripe and Star logos on the heel and medial regions, and metallic stitched detailing on the lateral sides. The shoes have been finished off with a pink leather interior and a cream-colored outsole.
Take a look at the forthcoming Ibn Jasper x Converse Pro Leather in the gallery above. The shoes will be available via Converse’s website and select retailers globally on September 26 for $120 USD.
For more footwear news, take a look at Engineered Garments and HOKA ONE ONE’s latest collaboration.
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CONVERSE x IBN JASPER Chicago-born Ibn Jasper wants to make sure today’s kids know Dr. J. The first basketball player to dunk from the foul line, Julius Erving is known for his free flowing play, as well as for wearing Converse’s Pro Leather basketball shoe. First released in 1976, the Pro Leather debuted as the lightest and most durable performance basketball shoe on the market. Highlighted by the star/chevron logo, the shoe was worn in collegiate and pro competition by many of the game’s best — though most notably by Erving — before being discontinued in 1983. Subsequent re-issues have not only cemented the silhouette’s stature in the cannon of hoop shoes, but given it standing in fashion and skate circles alike. “This particular collaboration means a lot to me since I was born in the 70s and grew up in the 80s watching all of the great NBA players like Dr.J.,” says Jasper. “The aesthetic is based on a photo of Dr. J. walking into the arena with an all-white outfit. He looks like he just stepped off of the runway. I thought to myself: ‘How can I distill this image and vibe into a collection?’” The statuesque white serves a secondary purpose too. Jasper’s intent is to channel Erving’s sophisticated style into a trophy that pays homage to the highflying player’s great legacy and impact on the game. Roman numeral embossing adds to this vibe, granting historical weight to a contemporary design accentuated by a side zipper. The Converse x IBN Jasper Pro Leather will release globally on September 26.