Converse is continuing its "Three Artists. One Song" musical collaborations with a new single being released Friday: DoYaThing, a "robo-funk" (as NME calls it) track featuring Blur spinoff Gorillaz with guests Andre 3000 of Outkast fame and musician/producer James Murphy in his post-LCD Soundsystem guise.
The track is promoting the brand's limited edition Gorillaz-themed line of sneakers, which includes camouflage Chuck Taylor high top sneakers, designed by comic book artist Jamie Hewlett, who was best known for Tank Girl before he designed the Gorillaz characters.
The co-branded collection/single/video launch is being promoted with a Twitter hashtag and teaser videos, which you can check out below.
Here's a 30-second snippet of the 12 minute single:
And here's a behind-the-scenes peek at the Do Ya Thing video, which is directed by Hewlett:
The launch isn't just U.S. but global, with local event marketing including a street party in Singapore, and billboards in "Gorillaz Central," the UK:
The collection will be available online and at Converse retail distributors in addition to the brand's (modestly) expanding network of stores in the U.S. Following standalone stores in New York and Boston, the iconic shoe company has just opened its first West Coast retail location in Santa Monica, California.
The store is 70,000 square feet and features “the broadest assortment of Converse in the world,” according to Racked.com. But the biggest selling point of the store (as hinted at by its tagline, "Make Something") is the customization station, which allows consumers to take a pair of Converse shoes or apparel and place any design they want on them. As linked to street art and design as it is to basketball and music, Converse has hired graphic designers to help customize kicks to order on the spot.
Like its retail predecessors, the store offers Converse’s “entire shoe range—more than 230 styles,” as well as the brand's clothing, “including skinny jeans, leather moto jackets, tees and hoodies; plus watches, sunglasses, bracelets, key rings and books.”
Showing that it's not just an urban brand, the brand's first California store highlights local connections and environmental concerns to help engage locals, as Transworld Business notes. It features a “new line of men’s and women’s apparel and accessories that highlight designs from the local art community,” Transworld notes, while some of what the Customization Station offers to print on your shoes or apparel are “collaborations with local artists and designs that tie back to the Santa Monica community.”
The store also features three large skylights to bring in some of that California sunshine while wall installations that are made by the never-ending stream of local artists “celebrate the brand’s DNA and reflect the local southern California lifestyle and Converse’s Santa Monica exclusive merchandise,” a company release states. The store also uses discarded high school bleachers to showcase the sneaks, a crafty way of getting some environmental oomph in there to help satisfy that consumer desire. (For more on retail innovation, check out Interbrand's 2012 Best Retail Brands report.)
It's not just musicians who love "Chucks," as Converse fans call Chuck Taylor All-Stars, by the way. Count NBA players such as Atlanta Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls swingman Kyle Korver, and Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand, as fans of the brand.
[Billboard image via]