The Sk8er Life With Converse

 

I remember those days back in 2003 when Avril Lavigne first came out, and one of her first few songs are ‘Sk8er Boi‘. Every girl wanted to be her, dress like her and learn to skateboard like her. At that point of time, skateboarding became a cool trend (and also the trend of wearing skinny neckties) and everywhere, teenage boys are picking up skateboarding like how you pick up roller-blading or cycling. Of course, the trend died down when Avril’s fame did, but the ones who found a passion for skateboarding; found a new way of life – and that has sparked a new niche market in Malaysia.

Last week, the CONS Project KL, showcased what the skater lifestyle is all about. Converse has been a favored ‘skater shoe’ brand for a long time (even Avril Lavigne and her crew wears Converse) and it’s not hard to see why. The shoes are trendy and hardy, and they last for ages. The event introduced the new Fall 2014 family, which includes the Converse Cons Weapon.

 

 

Panda took this photo which garnered over 200 likes on the Converse FB page. 🙂

The all-black shoe, is the only one that has a special material used to create a unique change of color when flash is used. So, you can be sure that while wearing this shoe in the club, your shoes will be doing some flashing of their own. It’s pretty cool!

 

 

Some of the offerings at the event include Converse’s first magazine, Blank Canvas. It’s a pretty interesting read that covers mainly on the skater lifestyle in the Asian region. Commemorating the launch of Blank Canvas, each person is given a blank, white recycle-bag which we can bring over to the silk-screening station to have a design printed onto it. Alternatively, we can also choose to pick a plain Converse white tee and have it silk-screened, at no charge. 🙂 Which was what we did.

The silk-screen design templates.

 

 
The process of silk-screening a shirt involves using fabric paint over the template, to create a grungy, textured finish on the shirt.

 

The shirt was more for my boyfriend that it was for me, but I’m glad he got to utilize it. We also got one of the recycle-bags silk-screened.

While he was waiting in line for the silk-screening, I was busy getting myself a new skateboard. There’s a station, covered in sawdust and noisy with the sound of drilling, where they are making skateboards for the masses, out of old skateboards. In a way, they are refurbishing unwanted skateboards, cutting it to your desired shape and length. The boys are skilled in cutting out sword-shaped skateboards, but I decided to go with a penny-board (a smaller version of the original size, for kids and girls).

 

A skilled ‘skateboard-cutter’ (I don’t know what else to call him) traces out the penny-board design onto an old skateboard, and skillfully cuts it out with a high-powered machine. It took less than 10 minutes to have it cut out so perfectly! Another 2 minutes was taken to properly sand the edges down before he handed the board over to me.

 

I have plans to clean and then paint the entire bottom of the board gold. I might even consider putting some wheels onto them, but we’ll see. Otherwise, this makes a perfectly beautiful decor piece for the room.

Aside from free-skateboards and silk-screening, the event promised an experience, and a glance into the local skater lifestyle. I was in time to catch Mariss Khan talking about the skater lifestyle – how he, had lived in the lifestyle for years. He is now professionally designing and making skateboards for the locals, as he is much older and married with kids. It was nice to know (especially for the younger crowd in the room), that having & honing your skateboarding skills can lead to great opportunities, if you’re good at it. It is nice seeing encouragement from someone who is already a parent, telling youths that skateboarding is cool and it’s alright to do it if it’s your passion.

A lot of his designs are inspired by Malaysian childhood favorites – from Ding Dang box designs to cigarette boxes and even our local Pos Malaysia designs.

And just to prove we have a couple of talented youths in our local scene, Converse had generously set-up an expanse of space into a skateboarding park. Everyone who can skateboard are invited to have a go. In the midst of the crowd, there are a few skateboarders who are sponsored by Converse too. This just comes to show how much support the skateboarders are getting, as compared to 10 years ago when the hype was there, but there was nothing with opportunities like this.

 

 

Spotted: A young sk8er gurl (that’s how you spell it in skater talk)

 

Later on, we settled back in for a graffiti art lesson and demonstration by a rep from District Shop Gallery. He taught us the basics of graffiti art, starting with the nozzle-types and which nozzle can create what sort of effect. I never knew that you can go light or dark with different nozzles, I thought only thick or thin nozzles existed. There’s even one to create gradient effect sprays.

Then comes the basic lessons on creating clean lines, shading, filling in colors and strokes. He’s very skilled, as his hands glide easily across the wall, spraying straight and distinct lines as he go.

Nozzle varieties and its effects.

 

Here he got one of the crew members to give it a go.

 

 

The finished artwork. Photo creds to District.

The day carried on with night performances, but by then I’d already left. You can look for the happening event photos at Converse Malaysia’s Facebook page. The new Fall 2014 collection are out in stores now!

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