It began with a smile.
More even than the man himself, the Jack Purcell line is best represented by a smile. Not everyone can recall that Jack Purcell was a Canadian badminton player, but we can guarantee that most people can recognize that subtle black “smile” that’s stamped on the front of his signature sneakers. And now nearly eight decades after Jack first took to the court in those white plimsolls, Converse is taking the brand to new heights thanks to that smile.
Converse has transformed that upturned line into a logo, stamping it proudly on a tee alongside their straightforward, unflappable message, “Smile.” That t-shirt is just the start of the brand’s newly formed apparel collection, which includes a polo (again with an all-over print smile motif that is almost reminiscent of waves), a lightweight blazer, and a unique barn jacket/blazer mash-up. Of course, the sneakers are still the most extensive part of the collection, adding a premium edge to the iconic silhouette, most notably on an indigo colored pair that features the wavy smile pattern.
This more thorough offering, much like the shoes themselves, is understated yet eccentric. The basic designs are simple, but it’s the details – the two tone colorways, the patch pockets, the comfortable fabrics, that set these pieces apart. Overall the new collection has been infused with the same quirky sensibility that made Purcell’s legendary to begin with. This is the type of evolution that makes sense. Keep the originals, add in classics with a twist and don’t stray too far from what made you great. We venture a guess that Jack would certainly approve. We do. -JG
Detail shoe photos via Gentry.