Suspended from a canopy at the Converse Headquarters at Boston’s Lovejoy Wharf, each of these sneakers has a clear sole, lit from within by flexible LEDs. The one-off chandelier/sculpture
conceived by the Converse Design Team was custom-built by Lukas Lighting, a division of Flos USA based in Long Island City, New York. It measures around 4m x 6m x 2m and comprises
200 All Star Chuck Taylor sneakers. The sneaker brand is approaching its centennial and 60 per cent of Americans are said to own or have owned a pair. Marquis Mills Converse opened the
Converse Rubber Shoe Company in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1908. The first brown and black canvas All Star came out in 1917. Basket ballplayer Charles H Taylor left the Akron Firestones
and joined the company’s sales force in 1921. In addition to coaching the firm’s own basketball team, he designed the white high-top and, in 1932, the name Chuck Taylor was added to the
ankle patch. The classic black and white high-top used here was introduced in 1949. Converse’s market dominance eroded from the 1970s on; it lost its ‘all-American’ credentials by moving
manufacturing overseas. In 1991 and again in 2001 Converse filed for bankruptcy protection. Nike bought the brand for $305m (£187m) in 2003. Converse moved into its new 10-storey HQ,
complete with offices, music recording studio, gym and Nike flagship store, in 2015.