Undercover x Silly Thing “The New Mutation”
In the early 1990s when Undercover was first launched, Jun Takahashi created his own version of sneakers based on the Converse Jack Purcell. Printed with ‘Undercover Jun Takahashi’, it is one for the most popular and classic item in the Undercover collections.
To celebrate the launch of the Hong Kong shop, Undercover designer Jun Takahashi & TK from Silly Thing resurrected the item in 2006. When the two were discussing about releasing a special item for the Hong Kong shop, TK suggested that they re-launch the Undercover Jack Purcell which is a beloved of his over ten years ago. The original shoe mold was already lost by that time, due to the no-longer-active production. The two, therefore, had to recreate the mold from scratch to resurrect the authentic shape. Takahashi suggested printing the words ‘We Make Noise Not Clothes’ from the ‘Arts & Crafts’ era instead of the original on the shoe front. The Undercover × Silly Thing ‘Jack Purcell’ was extremely well received in both Undercover Tokyo and Hong Kong shops. In respond to the positive reception, Undercover then launched different versions such as Canvas and Dot, which also flew out from the shop in a wink.
In 2008, Takahashi & TK want to re-discover this item, this time with the fake Mickey Mouse character taken from the Seditionaries (the former Vivienne Westwood shop) during the Punk era. The new model sees the ‘big foot’ proportion, widening the original by 3cm. ‘Undercover Jun Takahashi’ is printed on the front of the shoe, channeling the classic Undercover aesthetic.
The second generation of Silly Thing × Undercover ‘Jack Purcell’ has become an independent item on its own, an original item co-created by Silly Thing and Undercover. For its new look, much time was consumed for the product development and design. Due to the unusual proportion of the shoe, there were many technical issues throughout the process concerning the material, cost and shoe structure. At times the collaboration was nearly terminated because of these issues, but after 18 months of non-stop development and test, the 2008 version of Undercover × Silly Thing ‘Jack Purcell’ was finally materialised.