Menswear designer Andrew Buckler to head Converse design team
Menswear designer Andrew Buckler has been tapped to head the design team at the Nike-owned Converse brand, reports fashion industry trade paper WWD.
WWD reports that in the newly created role of vice president of global creative design for the North Andover, Mass., company, Buckler will have design oversight for footwear, apparel, store concepts and brand identity and report to Converse President and Chief Executive Jim Calhoun.
English-born Buckler is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. He launched his New York City-based menswear label -- a blend of edgy British and bad-boy Americana -- in April 2001.
According to WWD, the Buckler brand will continue without the designer at the helm but Andrew Buckler will retain a minority interest (along with his brother Jeremy Buckler) and be involved in long-term strategy. The majority owner, Istanbul, Turkey, apparel manufacturer HC Tekstil, is expected to move the Buckler brand's center of operations to Istanbul.
Buckler's appointment is the latest move in the 103-year-old athletic shoemaker's long history of dipping its rubber-capped toe into the high-fashion world. Converse has had successful collaborations with menswear designer John Varvatos and Italian luxury house Missoni.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos: At left, a look from Andrew Buckler's fall-winter 2011 menswear collection is shown at New York Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times. At right, a 2008 archive photo of a buffalo-plaid Converse sneaker. Credit: Michael Khachadoorian /Converse)