Feng Chen Wang X Converse ERX 260

Making their debut at Shanghai Fashion Week in October 2018, these coral pink beauties are the latest take on the classic Converse ERX 260 that was originally released in 1987 and embraced by basketballers such as Magic Johnson and Karl Malone.

Feng Chen Wang X Converse ERX 260 A/W 2019

The 260 is one of the younger middle children of the ERX series, fitting in line amidst the 200/250/300/350/360 and 400. All were released across 1987-1989. There may be other models that complete the series but after much research these are all the models I can procure info on.

There were more colourways than I could keep count of released during the reign of the ERX. In 1989 Magic endorsed the humble black and white ERX 350. Following this the 400 went on to feature a Lakers theme colour scheme. They are undoubtedly a sneaker that had a massive impact on culture both on and off the court, having earned themselves a solid place in iconic sneaker history.

1989 ERX 350 endorsed by Magic Johnson

The 260’s are the coolest design, just my opinion. While they are all a very similar aesthetic, the 260 has a bit more of a skate look and feels like a less serious sneaker (if the term ‘less serious’ could be used to describe any of the models in the ERX series). Many of the others look just that bit more of a supportive athletic shoe, the heel pads are a tighter fit contour, ideal for protecting one’s ankles while leaping up and down the court, such as was originally intended. Sporting the latest in sneaker technology of the time with their Energy Wave cushioning, ERX meaning Energy Return Multiplier, it’s no surprise they were Magics sneaker of choice.

The rebirth of the ERX is thanks to streetwear designer Don C of brand Just Don. Last year he selected the 260 from the depths of the archives for his Converse collab. The particular model was one he held dear from childhood and upon seeing them in the books enthusiastically yelled “I remember that shoe, this is the shoe!”.

Artwork by Benjamin Marra, Grammy-nominated American illustrator and comic-book artist.

The collaboration resulted in an entirely outstanding design, the perfect rollout for any relaunch set to make an impact. I would be proud to sport the pony hide (calf) Vaporous Grey in my kicks collection, alas it is not so.

Just Don X Converse ERX 260 - 2018 Relaunch

Anyway, back to Feng Chen Wang X Converse. It is yet unclear as to whether this design from Feng’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection will be available to purchase for us regular street savvy folks or if it is a concept design for the runway/limited run accessible to only the highest of street rollers. A good indicator that it will land in Converse stores around the globe sometime soon though is that it’s predecessor’s (the metal/animal range) by Just Don are currently available in stores.

Backstage of Feng Chen Wang’s AW/19 runway at Shanghai Fashion Week

Either way, we can all admire them in their virtual glory and congratulate Chinese born, London based designer Feng Chen Wang on breathing these stunners into life. Thank you Feng.

Feng Chen Wang AW/19

The recent ERX collaboration is not her first joint venture with converse and likely neither her last. Feng’s Spring Summer 2019 collection ‘My Half’ dropped shortly ahead of the latest collection and saw the Chuck 70’s re-conceptualised into a deconstructed reconstructed masterpiece that practically broke the streetwear sector of the internet!

Feng Chen Wang X Converse Chuck 70’s AW/19 ‘My Half’

Feng Chen Wang AW/19 ‘My Half’

With her use of futuristic fabrics and gender fluid designs, she is one of the few women designers making waves in menswear. Her designs, often rooted in outerwear, are bold and highly conceptual, catching the interest of top fashionistas worldwide. Nominated for the LMVH Prize in 2016 and with no signs of slowing down, we can expect to see many more exciting works from Feng yet.

Chinese born, London based, Menswear designer Feng Chen Wang