Music News

Blondie's Debbie Harry Creates Converse Line: Why This is Not Punk Rock

It seems anything involving Blondie and Converse, the quintessential and iconic shoe of late-'70s punk rockers, would be a great idea.

Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry wasn't just known for her golden tresses and her take-charge attitude, but also for her sense of style. Many musicians who came after her followed her cues, and continue to model their style after hers today. We salute them.

Spin recently published a story on their blog talking about her collaboration with Converse, as she has designed a new line for them, including the Chuck Taylor All-Star pictured here. So what's the problem?

Converse is not punk rock.

"Chucks" are no longer representative of the counter culture/alternative lifestyle that they once were. And why is this? Well, because they got bought out by Nike in 2003, and Nike is one of the notoriously worst corporations in terms of human rights abuses. Not only are they well known for using sweatshops, but they also engage in human trafficking and outright slave labor.

Since I'm a fan of Blondie, I can only hope that the way Harry allowed herself to do this is because she didn't know who owns Converse and how their operations are run. Punk rock was founded on social activism. Paying $55 - $85 for a pair of shoes, which is more than the weekly wage of many of Nike's workers, just isn't in the spirit of that.

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Sarah Ventre