Today, Converse and JW Anderson are launching the latest collection in the brands’ continuing collaboration; Toy. To celebrate, Toy Gallery – a pop-up in the heart of London’s Soho – will open today (19 July) for four days, until 22 July.
Toy Gallery takes Anderson’s latest approach to the collaboration and translates it into a physical retail experience resembling a traditional art gallery. This experience also embodies the space which the relationship between JW Anderson and Converse occupies. The two exist at opposite ends of the fashion spectrum – Anderson at the forward-thinking end, pushing the boundaries of high fashion and Converse at the iconic, made for everyone end – and it’s this unique space which provides the driving force for their joint collections. Toy Gallery will, therefore, provide a space to celebrate the creative communities that embrace these differences and the renewed Chuck 70s.
Toy transforms the iconic Chuck 70, a design staple, into something fresh and new. Reimagined in an ultra-slick vinyl and conflicting graded colourways, it’s high energy and playful. Toy is available as both a high top and low top, the former in an orange and red or green, and the latter in a lilac or pink. Each shoe is accompanied by a contrasting sole in a translucent rubber, only furthering the graphic gradients.
As well as “exhibiting” the collection, Toy Gallerywill display artworks of the Converse x JW Anderson Chuck 70 by Los Angeles-based artist Delfin Finley, and host a series of events and talks outside of gallery hours to engage with London’s creative communities.
These include a discussion between NYC-based writer, curator and activist Kimberly Drew and Dazed’s arts and culture editor, Ashleigh Kane, on the topic of “What is art, anyway?” on Friday from 7-9PM. The following day will see female creative network Babyface in conversation with Kusheda Mensa, Christabel Macgreevy and Antonia Marsh, three artists working towards the democratisation of art, on why the pursuit of fun should be a preoccupation of all artists from 7-9PM. Finally, on Sunday from 4-6PM, Risograph printer and publishing house Hato Press will be hosting a zine workshop, printing posters live in the pop-up.
Toy Gallery opens today and remains open until Sunday 22 July at 20 Beak Street in Soho. All events are open to the public but with limited availability, to apply for your place email RSVP@toygallery.co.uk with your preferred date.