Cobain Signature Shoe Announced

Kurt Cobain sporting his fave One StarsI love Converse shoes and have several pairs of Chuck Taylors and lament my giving away a pair of One Stars several years ago to GLONO co-founder Sabu. So it’s with mixed feelings that I read about the announcement of a limited edition Kurt Cobain signature shoe from the now-Nike owned Converse.

The shoe is set to feature Cobain’s name, lyrics, writing, and signature to mark the shoe’s 100th anniversary. The Cobain shoe is the latest in a line of subversive celebrity signature shoes from Converse. Other artists featured include Ian Curtis, Sid Vicious, and apparently Hunter S. Thompson, though I can’t find any evidence that Thompson’s shoe was ever actually developed and released.

Converse apparently made a better offer than Doc Martin to Courtney Love in securing Cobain’s likeness for this shoe line. When an ad campaign by Doc Martin appeared that featured Cobain in a pair of their iconic boots, Love released a statement in which she said it was “outrageous that a company is allowed to commercially gain from such a despicable use of her husband’s picture.” I guess it’s not as despicable if she’s getting a cut of the action.

So, the question is: is this cool or does it suck? Is it cool that once marginal artists (Cobain excluded) are now being honored left and right by mainstream culture? Or does it suck that subversive culture is consistently co-opted and neutered for corporate profit?

16 thoughts on “Cobain Signature Shoe Announced”

  1. Does Conikeverse really need a marketing ploy to get more angsty teens to buy their shoes?

    For the record, I think Kurt would totally hate everything about this.

  2. I don’t know if it sucks, but why would you want anything other than the classic black Chuck Taylor high tops? Unless of course you wanted purple with green strings.

  3. I’ve been looking for a good deal on those no-lace, low-top Chuck Taylor slip-ons. They’re a little queer looking, but I’m done with tying shoes. F laces.

  4. Buy these shoes and now you too can hate the world just like your favorite subversive artists!

    Cobain is spinning in his grave…

  5. Is it cool that once marginal artists (Cobain excluded) are now being honored left and right by mainstream culture? Or does it suck that subversive culture is consistently co-opted and neutered for corporate profit?

    If the intent were actually that of the first part of your question then, I’d say yes. But we all know it isn’t and in his case we can safely assume Kurt would not approve, so, sadly, just one more instance of co-opting and greed is what we’re left with.

  6. Cobain surrendered any say so over his own legacy the moment he pulled that trigger. You don’t approve of sneakers coming out with your name on them? Then don’t die, asshole.

  7. I am not a fan of name calling suicide victims. What drives people to kill themselves is more than cowardice or selfishness or any other shallow self interest. We don’t generally think people who die by other means are assholes, why should mental illness be different?

    That said, we all know the real asshole is Courtney Love. Regardless of how you feel about this signature line of shoes, she sucks.

  8. Of course, but why should anybody attempt to reanimate a corpse to ask their opinion on things? The whole “rolling in one’s grave” aspect of all things Nirvana seems irrelevant and so self-righteous.

    The fact is that the only person who could possibly think these shoes are cool would be a pre-teen kid who’s trying to figure out his or her place in this fucked up world. Whatever.

  9. “Or does it suck that subversive culture is consistently co-opted and neutered for corporate profit?”

    Yeah, that one – the suck answer.

  10. “Whatever?” Nevermind.

    *Fuck laces* though for sure.

    I have long ranted to my (eye-rolling) wife against laces. It is an outdated technology we don’t have time for in this fast-paced world.

    But I do like them suede converses.

  11. Well, I wasn’t sure how to respond to this. With full disclosure, I’m currently involved a business relationship with PrimaryWave music publishing.

    Before anyone gets too critical of Courtney Love, consider that this page your reading is supported by a Google ad for Nirvana ring-tones.

    I hope everyone clicks on the ad so that Jake gets the revenue he needs to run this advertising supported website. I hope those ring-tones are legitimately licensed. I hope they sell lots of them so that Primary Wave gets there fee and Courtney Love gets the cut that she is entitled to via Kurt Cobain’s estate, and so on, and in some small way, perhaps, that fee helps them continue paying me for my services.

    As for the shoes, there is no reason why Cobain should be “spinning in his grave”. In a much bigger way than these new special editions, Kurt already endorses Converse, by virtue of the fact that he is wearing a pair in damn near every photo ever taken of him. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “people vote with their feet”. He voted in favor of endorsing Converse every time he bought a pair himself, every time he wore them in public and especially every time someone photographed him in a pair. Hell, he’s even wearing a pair in the crime scene photos from his death. Converse has already received a stupendous amount of free endorsement from Kurt. Why shouldn’t he receive some form of compensation, even if it is via his estate after his death.

    The Doc Marten’s ads were a different story. It wasn’t just the fact that their images were used without the permission of their respective estates. It was also the fact that it wasn’t even accurate. None of them even wore Doc Marten’s. Sid Vicious wore Harley style biker boots. In the cases of Kurt Cobain and Joey Ramone, they both wore Converse (One Stars and All Stars, respectively).

    As for myself, I’ve never owned a pair of Converse. I had two pairs of shoes through most of high school. A pair of U.S. Army issued combat boots, and a pair of vintage leather steel-toed shoes purchased from a thrift store that were stamped with the emblem of the orphanage that issued them.

    As soon as I could afford them, I bought myself a pair of John Fluevog cuban heeled chelsea boots. They were already discontinued at the time. I called all over the country until I found one shoe-store in Chicago that had them in stock (I was living in Memphis at the time). I drove to Chicago for a weekend just to try them on. Wore them almost everyday for about 5 years, had them completely resoled and the heel rebuilt 3 times until the uppers started to fall apart (I also wore China slippers from the martial-arts store).

    Today I wear Prada loafers. Laces suck.

    Nevermind.

  12. I don’t mind laces, but with sneakers you can still slip ’em on with laces.

    My old Chucks just fell apart, and I think I probably undid the laces once or twice a year.

    And if penny loafers were good enough for Richie Cunningham, John Mellonhead and Michael Jackson, they’re good enough for me.

  13. Oh, if even of you college-age spring-breakers get down to Buenos Aires, you can get a sharp pair of solid black Toppers for 83 pesos. That’s what I did.

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