Oscar Niemeyer’s Converse Collection Proves You’re Never Too Old For Controversy
Since Oscar Niemeyer’s shoe collection debuted 10 days ago in Brazil, the blogosphere has been abuzz about the fashion line of five different shoes that benefits his eponymous foundation. The 104-year old architect and the visionary of Brasília, despite another recent hospitalization, is still productive at a level that should inspire all of us. The various athletic shoes, which retail for $85 to $135 in Brazil and help support the Oscar Niemeyer foundation, recall Niemeyer’s stunning body of work over the years. Red accents and shoe tongues are a tribute to São Paulo’s Ibirapuera Auditorium. The lining in one shoe references the Brazilian land rights social movement “Landless,” confirming Niemeyer’s political beliefs. And one boot features his famous poem about curves, the oft-distinct feature of his works. Naturally the former president of Brazil’s Communist Party is catching some flak for his statements considering that his Converse x Oscar Niemeyer collection is manufactured overseas. Accusations of abuse had long dogged Nike, of which Converse is a subsidiary. But Nike has made huge strides within its supply chain and is striving to become an even more ethical and sustainable company. And in an imperfect world, Niemeyer’s achievements, even as he has passed the century mark at his age, should prove aspirational to designers very young and old alike. Photos courtesy of Nike.