Oscar Niemeyer Proves You’re Never Too Old to Design Sneakers

Do architects get better with age? We don’t know the answer to that. But if Oscar Niemeyer can attest to anything, it is that architects can stay pretty damn active. The man and the legend behind the concrete mecca known as Brasilia is a ripe 104 years of age, and though he was reported to have been “a bit dehydrated” at Rio’s Hospital Samaritano where he was hospitalized last week (he is thankfully “fine,” as doctors told ABC News), Niemeyer’s old age has not precluded his latest project, a collaboration with sneaker mega-brand Converse.

So what can you expect from an Oscar Niemeyer-designed Chuck Taylor or Jack Purcell? Well, the architect’s concrete poeticism translates quite differently to footwear. We are relieved to say that none of the shoes have sharp, curvy appendages, nor are they wildly expressive or functionally obscure. Sticking with the most traditional Converse templates, Niemeyer’s designs simply stitch together leather and canvas with the occasional red highlight and scripted textual pattern to create refined versions of some classic sneakers. Good job not jumping the shark, Oscar! Check out the other designs at Sneaker News, or if you live in Brazil, ask for them at a shoe store!

- Kelly Chan