Shanghai’s edition of the Converse Block Party on Saturday was simply brand perpetuation at its finest. At least until the police became adamant about keeping it real, closing the event down due to overcrowding. With a street section next to M50 Creative Garden cordoned off for the festivities, Converse came through and provided the very with-it crowd an awesome opportunity to chill out.
Besides the silk-screen tables and stalls full of local designers selling their own wares (shrewdly, no Converse shoes were being sold at the event), the main attractions at the Block Party were a DJ stage cut out from a standard-blue shipping container, a pickup basketball tournament featuring high do-rag concentration, small-scale skateboarding ramps and a few graffiti walls.
All of which ostensibly represent the main tent-poles of Converse’s merchandise/aesthetic system, if you go by the prominent clickable sections of their website.
The event was just one of several similar Converse Block Parties held worldwide, with other skateboarding/basketball/street-culture essence fests taking place in Singapore, Malaysia, Melbourne and Buenos Aires.
Photos and story by Fan Huang
Correction: We’d previously written that Shanghai’s Converse Block Party was put on by Nike’s go-to marketing firm Wieden + Kennedy (Nike having bought Converse in 2003). We were a bit confused when W + K referred to the event as ‘our carnival’ on their blog, but we’ve since been informed by Converse that ‘every element from design to experience was all conceived, designed, and produced by our internal Converse marketing team here in China.’