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IN CONVERSATION WITH: GAVIN CAMPBELL

05.04.15

It's an indisputable fact. Jack Purcell sneakers can count themselves amongst the world's most iconic shoe designs. And, as if their decades of popularity weren't testament enough, you'll only need to glance at the feet of some of the world's most stylish men for further affirmation. Loved for their ability to be both cool and core, the shoe's simple design is doubtless the key to enduring popularity. For SS15 the iconic shoe arrives at Reiss in brand new colourways, fabrications and in the guise of the updated 'Signature' style. So, we headed to Converse' London offices for a conversation with brand expert Gavin Campbell, who here waxes lyrical about everything Jack Purcell.

Gavin wears the 1971 Dufrais stone denim jacket

What makes the Jack Purcell sneakers so iconic?

Well, they’ve been worn by some seriously iconic characters, such as James Dean, Steve McQueen, I even saw an image of David Hockney in a pair recently! I think it comes down to that blue smile and toe cap, they’re both instantly recognizable and synonymous with Americana. Even as a teenager riding round on my Lambretta I always loved Jack Purcell sneakers over any other style because I felt like they gave me an edge. It’s a real preppy, Ivy League sneaker that is about as authentic as it gets.

How would you sum up your personal style?

In one word I’d have to say ‘classic’. I like items that stand the test of time; blue jeans, button-down shirts, flannels, chambray shirts, white T-shirts, denim jackets… items that are neither in nor out of fashion.

How do you wear Jack Purcells for work?

Well I'm lucky enough to work for Converse so I can be pretty relaxed and casual about my daily attire, so with my Jack Purcells I’d usually wear blue jeans, a white T-shirt and most likely a chambray or button-down shirt over the top. Just super-simple stuff!

How do you wear Jack Purcells off-duty?

Pretty much the same way as I’d be wearing them at work. That being said, a pair of black Jack Purcells work really well with a pair of wide black trousers. It’s great for a look that’s a little smarter while retaining a casual feel.

Who wears Jack Purcell sneakers well?

I don’t think I could pinpoint one person in particular as the Jack Purcell shoes do mostly the same job for whoever wears them. James Brown sang “talking loud and saying nothing”, I find these sneakers to be the opposite. They are so simple, with their clean lines and understated aesthetic they talk really quietly, at the same time saying everything needed to be said - that in itself is the beauty of them. They enhance the wearer’s outfit. They are worn, they don’t wear you.

What city/place/person of thing inspires your style?

No one thing, inspiration comes from everywhere at all times. I must say I do love the costumes in Shawshank Redemption though!

Which Jack Purcell colourway is your favourite?

Personally I favour white or parchment a lot of the time, preferably when they’re a little beat up and dirty too.

What are the updated design features of the Jack Purcell ‘Signature’ sneakers?

There are quite a few of these, 18 to be exact. Some of the ones that I enjoy and benefit from myself are the Ortholite footbed with Nike Zoom technology, this makes them so comfortable! When I put them on in the morning it feels like I’m putting on a pair of running trainers, they are so soft. I also really like the winged tongue construction; this creates a seamless inner forefoot which for me means it holds the foot much better.

Finally I love the two-piece foxing, which is slightly higher than the ‘Jack’ version of this sneaker – this makes them look a little more masculine and more modern. There are plenty more updates to the Signature over the classic Jack Purcell style, but overall you’re looking at a more robust sneaker coming with all-day comfort, it’s without doubt “a modern interpretation of the icon”.

What’s your favourite way to wear your Jack Purcells this season?

The same as every season! I’ll wear mine with jeans or some wide pants with a cuff, a white T-shirt, then to finish I’ll wear a shirt over the top.

What’s the best piece of style advice that you've ever been given?

Buy cheap, buy twice.

Discover Jack Purcell at Reiss for SS15