At age 47, Marquis Mills Converse (pictured), who was previously a manager at a footwear manufacturing firm, opened the Converse Rubber Shoe Company in February 1908 in Massachusetts. The company was a rubber shoe manufacturer, providing winterised rubber soled footwear for men, women, and children. By 1910, Converse was producing shoes daily, but it was not until 1915 that the company began manufacturing athletic shoes.
The company’s catalyst came in 1917 when the Converse All-Star basketball shoe was introduced. Then in 1923, a basketball player named Charles H. “Chuck” Taylor walked into Converse complaining of sore feet. Converse gave him a job: he worked as a salesman and ambassador, promoting the shoes around the U.S., and in 1932 Taylor’s signature was added to the All-Star patch on the classic, high-topped sneakers. He continued this work until shortly before his death in 1969.
In July 2003, Nike paid $309 million to acquire Converse. Nike approached the 1980s revival around 2010 to relaunch the footwear. Nike also expanded the Converse brand to other businesses apart from shoes, much akin to its other brands.
Since this acquisition, Nike has transformed the company, and in 2019, Converse had a total revenue of $1.91 billion.