The Los Angeles One Star Experience Presented By Converse X
Words By Roo
Now in 2018 and just before the year concludes, Converse has, once again, collaborated with Tyler, the Creator to continue his ‘Flower Boy’ motif. And drawing inspiration from such unique collaborations, birthed the Converse X community, which is a global group of influential individuals, that have been chosen to create, participate and engage with and for Converse based on their style, ambitions and personality. The Converse X community is all about inspiring others to pave their own paths in the world. These X members take the road less traveled and make it their own, instead of conforming to following similar paths. Succeeding in life by doing everything on “your own terms” is the spirit of a Converse X member.
Their private Instagram account (@Converse_X_) currently hosts over 500 members from different cities all over the world. And it’s the ‘Converse One Star’ that seems to be the focal point of attraction for them. The soul of the One Star was inspired by the classic sneakers and the spirit of independence, which has encouraged Converse to build unique relationships and create representatives through connective experiences. Now to further celebrate the introduction of the latest Converse/Tyler, the Creator collaboration, about 2 weeks ago Converse selected some of their top Converse X ambassadors from around the globe and flew them down to Los Angeles for one unforgettable #RatedOneStar experience! HYPE Magazine was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the media partners (repping South Africa) that got the opportunity to tag along for the ride to also get the full & real LA experience. From the moment I landed, I could tell that this would be one of those life changing experiences which would end in tears of joy at some point. From the cab rides, interactions, bus and rooftop parties at Hollywood’s iconic, The Roosevelt Hotel, to exclusive shopping opportunities at Tyler the Creator’s GOLF store and finally attending his sold out 2-day Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival show.
The whole #RatedOneStar trip really kick started when I landed in LAX on November 8th (Thursday) after my, what felt like a 24hr long, journey. Soon as I landed, I quickly found myself a cab and then finally arrived at the famous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel which is literally in the core of Hollywood. The accommodation had already convinced me that this would be no regular experience and although all that my body wanted to do was shut down, I immediately met my Converse plug, (Suevia,Communications & Entertainment Marketing Manager For Converse) who encouraged me to rest up a little before all the crazy things began. By the time I arrived in my hotel room, I had already found out that the Converse X kids were shooting some campaign stills somewhere in the hotel spaces (I think it was the pool area). After I took a minute to adjust to the time difference, we (media partners) had a media dinner (7pm) at the world-famous Thai restaurant called Night + Market, where even John Mayer himself was dining. We were placed at the restaurant’s private courtyard. The dinner was really an opportunity for us to get to know each other before we met the X kids who were at a launch somewhere within the city. The media dinner was quite an intimate setting that had us all enjoying each other’s company and really settling in. A few glasses of hot/cold drinks and spicy Thai dishes down our throats, we finally headed out to join the rest of crew.
By the time we arrived, the event had just ended which opened the door for all of us to host our own little party on the Hotel’s rooftop that had some stunning views of the beautiful Los Angeles skyline and Hollywood sign. We all used this moment to further get acquainted with each other the best way kids know how of course… During our little party, I got to finally meet some of the Converse X kids that all come from different parts of the world such as New Zealand, Australia, Poland, Thailand, Chile and South Africa (S/O Monica) to name but a few. These X kids were a mixture of artists, DJs, photographers and models that had all connected to be part of a story and something special. Each kid has their own sense of style which was quite interesting to see and also, them reinterpreting the One Star spirit in their own way was too much (this means amazing)…
So, the following morning (Friday), we (media) were lucky enough to attend a Converse Press Preview while having some breakfast. This time I got the opportunity to view some of the exciting upcoming Converse projects & collabs for the upcoming year. Some were even too exclusive to take snaps of… Trust me when I say that 2019 is going to be an amazing year for Converse. After that we then all, with the Converse X kids, went out (mini bus style) to experience a full day touring Downtown LA which included an exclusive tour of Tyler, the Creators store, GOLF on Farfax Avenue. We also got the chance to purchase some items before anyone else because, by the time we had finished, a long line of people waiting for the store to open had already formed which was crazy. Oh, and S/O to Tyler for making a brief appearance at the store too which was cool… S/O Jasper too!
From the GOLF store tour we all headed out for some lunch in a basketball court. The menu was fully Mexican with its Taco and Burrito offerings. That luncheon was pretty chilled and was another bonding moment that had us all having a good time while jamming out to some music off the #RatedOneStar Spotify playlist. Immediately after the lunch we headed out to Echo Park to attend a panel discussion that was led our plug, Suevia, Lee Spielman (who is a Trash Talk band member and Founder of Babylon) and Darryl Jackson (who is the Apparel Director at Converse Collections incubate). That discussion was pretty inspiring to be honest because, we all understood that this experience was not to be taken for granted and we really absorbed the words that were being uttered to us. I felt like I could take over the world after that session, in fact I still do now… “Succeed in your own way” is the message that I took from that and hopefully if you’re reading this, will also consider adopting.
In the evening, we headed out to dine at one of LA’s most iconic Italian restaurants called ‘Jon and Vinny’s. Yo! This joint was crazy! It’s even labelled as one of the toughest restaurants to book a table in and is apparently the country’s most efficient. Well of course Converse stunted on us and booked the entire place for all of us to enjoy… By middle of our time spent in there, I was so annoyed with myself for not having enough space in my stomach to enjoy all the food that was still coming. Listen, I honestly think Jon and Vinnys serves some of the best food in the world! After dinner, we all headed back to the hotel, by then I was half past asleep and decided to call it a night while others continued to party in the pool area.
The final two days were probably one of the best days of my entire life (no lie) because we were lucky enough to attend Tyler the Creator’s, highly anticipated annual Camp Flog Gnaw fest held at Dodger Stadium VIP style. The festival was sold out and it’s no surprise considering that it had featured a crazy line-up that included KIDS SEE GHOST (Kanye West & Kid Cudi), Tyler The Creator, A$AP Rocky, Post Malone, Jaden Smith, The Internet, Pusha T, Ms. Lauren Hill, Jorja Smith, Majid Jordan, Virgil Abloh and Playboy Carti just to name a few. The whole festival experience was filled with fun fare rides, exclusive merch pop-ups, street fashion, crazy food stalls and a youth LA vibe to bring it a full circle.
Monday was the day we departed, but not before Monica (Converse X ??) & I took a young stroll down Hollywood’s walk of fame to soak it all in as a conclusion. As we headed back to LAX, we reflected on what a life changing experience this had been and how amazing Converse had treated us. From the moment we landed there, which was both our first times by the way, we had just been getting blown away by the hospitality and care that Converse had & still presented us. I will never ever forget this! To give you a different perspective of the trip, make sure you read my interview with one of South Africa’s Converse X ambassadors Monica, aka Moca, about her experience with Converse and how it changed her. I would also like to end this off by sending so much love and a huge thank you to Converse South Africa for a one of a kind experience that I will cherish and brag about for years to come ❤️ ?