To mark the launch of their new bags and accessories range, Converse invited a few experts on style and self expression to customise some of the range with a nod to the phrase ‘back to school’. I was fortunate enough to collaborate on one of the bags with the very vocal and self expressive Chantelle Fiddy, the journalist and renowned commentator on the London grime scene. Miss Fiddy’s music credentials span from editing titles including Ctrl.Alt.Shift, RWD Magazine, Mixmag and Live, to working with the likes of Dazed & Confused, Sunday Times Style, and Guardian, and as a presenter on Channel 4’s ‘Generation Next’.
Here you can see us posing with our creation on a photo shoot organised by the lovely people from Coffin on Cake PR. I’m the not so pretty one on the right. To see more customised bags and their colourful creators check out the article ‘How to Work Your School Bag’ at Cooler. And mine and Chan’s creation is also featured the FHM article, ‘Converse Duffle Bags (graffiti not included)’, as well as in Fused Magazine.
For my part of the collaboration I took elements that were pertinent to Chan from her school days and reinterpreted them in a tattoo-style design, painted directly onto the canvas bag. I know that she is into fonts and the colour pink so this provided the background details. And for the main section I incorporated a heart and the crossed guns symbolism from the happy hardcore days whilst defusing the negative aspect of gun culture by having images of Chan’s favourite flowers emerging from the barrels – a reference stolen from the Peace Movement of the 60’s (check out Bernie Boston’s iconic Flower Power photo, taken during the last big march on the Pentagon in October 1967). And in keeping with old school tattoo designs (my dad was a tattooist) I tied it all together with a scroll which I left blank, ready for Chantelle to add the finishing touches.
And here is the finished product, complete with badges and text – ‘Fire What You Got’.