Converse is wrapping up its 1HUND(RED) ARTISTS series of sneakers in the next two months, a year-long launch of artist-collaboration sneakers under the Product (RED) umbrella that includes work by everyone from culture heroes Hiroshi Fujiwara and Terrence Koh to music icons Billy Joe Armstrong and Lupe Fiasco.
To drive forward the point that (RED) isn't a one-off hype machine, but a continuing movement, Converse held its first "Conversations" event, a seated dinner hosted by Converse Sr. Global Director of Visual Arts Scott Patt, musician Lupe Fiasco, and Executive Chef of Aquavit, Marcus Samuelsson, last night at Aquavit in New York City. The dinner brought together 50 cultural movers and shakers, including some of the hype world's finest, to speak about Africa and what can be done to keep the project alive. Photographer Stephen K. Schuster documented portraits of special guests—read on for images and profiles of Conversations attendees...
Ian Ginoza: Founder KICKS/HI, St. Alfreds, and collaborator on the first Converse x Product (RED) series including sneakers by DQM, KICKS/HI, and Nom de Guerre. Currently working on the upcoming Converse "First String" special projects collection, including the recently dropped Comme des GarÃ§ons collaboration and a full collection, debuting spring 2010.
Scott Patt: Sr. Global Director of Visual Arts for Converse, and the man responsible for putting together the 1HUND(RED) Artists program for the Converse brand.
Dave Ortiz: Founder Dave's Quality Meats, collaborator on the first Converse x Product (RED) series including sneakers by DQM, KICKS/HI, and Nom de Guerre, and continuing to kill it in the footwear, streetwear, and living category, NYC.
Benjamin Liu: New York fashion and cultural organizer extraordinaire, partner to Converse Product (RED) on events.
Lupe Fiasco: Chicago rapper/musician, designer, and collaborator on the Converse 1HUND(RED) Artists program. His sneaker drops this month.
Wil Whitney: Nom de Guerre/Nike Sportswear, and collaborator on the first Converse x Product (RED) series including sneakers by DQM, KICKS/HI, and Nom de Guerre.
Chioma Nnadi: Fashion Editor, the Fader magazine