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The Chuck Stops Here

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Back in the old days, customizing your Chuck Taylors took a Sharpie marker and a free period in junior high school. Times have changed, and at Converse’s new Soho store—the label’s second-ever retail space, and first in New York—there’s an entire custom-design station, staffed with “customization maestros” (surely the most eye-opening job title to hit the neighborhood since Apple installed “Geniuses” at its fix-it bar down the block). Hand your sneaks over to said maestro, watch him feed them into what looks like a giant, industrial espresso machine, and 20 minutes later, voilà: custom Chucks, patterned or printed however you want them.

Converse isn’t only shoes, of course, and the shop carries its men’s and women’s clothing, as well as a new series of T-shirts shouting out NYC boroughs and neighborhoods. The decor, in keeping with the brand’s sports and rock ‘n’ roll heritage, is decorated with reclaimed bleachers (with names still carved into the wood), subway tiles, basketball scoreboards, and chain-link fencing. There’s even a giant American flag—made of 648 pairs of red, white, and blue All Stars.

Converse opens this Friday at 560 Broadway, NYC, (212) 966-1099.

Photos: Courtesy of Converse

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