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As Converse celebrates 100 years in the basketball shoe biz, inspiration from the past carries them into the future. 

John F. Kennedy once said, "History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing to the future." Applying this idea, Converse has collaborated with The Black Fives to tell the story of the Negro League through a special collection of basketball shoes, which honor the company's century mark.

Converse creative designer Scott Patt says the Century Project uses a lineage of products to tell the story, beginning with the 1933 Chuck Taylors and ending with the company's current performance shoe, the All Star Revolution, releasing later this year.

"We partnered with The Black Fives organization and Claude Johnson and were able to really dive deep into some of the story telling with the shoes," Patt explains. Designers used newspaper print, detailed stitching and a woven fabric to represent different stories from the league.

Converse is also joining the past and the present with its three-pack "What If" Collection. According to sports communications director Molly Carter, "Converse wanted to tell a true basketball story because we are a basketball brand."

Featuring the shoes of John Isaacs of the 1930s Harlem Renaissance, Julius Irving of the 1970s Philadelphia 76ers and current Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, the collection tells the story of three key Converse players who, Carter says "really paved the way and disrupted the status quo in the game of basketball."

All three collections feature each player's signature shoe, and will be available this month, so you can write your own history with the shoe that tells your story best.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock