Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A vintage pair of Converse Non Skid trainers made in 1917 has been sold for GBP 7,000 by their owner who needs the cash after he lost his job to COVID-19.
Wan Irfayuim Azim Wan Ab Aziz, aged 31, who is a vintage Converse sneakers collector from the Malaysian city of Kota Bharu, sold the star item in his collection to stay financially afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 31-year-old man traded the 1917 “Non-Skids” that later became widely known as “Chuck Taylors” to a fellow collector from the state of Pahang in Malaysia for RM 40,800 (GBP 7,071).
Converse trainers were initially designed for basketball players and were called “non-skid” because of their rubber soles, which according to the then experts were believed to provide the extra push necessary for players on the court.
They were referred to as Chuck Taylor All-Stars after American basketball player and salesman Charles Hollis “Chuck” Taylor offered the company to create a better shoe with more support and flexibility.
The current pair, which according to Wan Irfayuim Azim came with a pair of 1916 shorts and knee protectors, were sold less than 24 hours after the former owner posted the online offer.
The Saturday Facebook post regarding the 104-year-old sneakers was shared by 7,000 people and received almost 9,000 likes from Facebook users.
Wan Irfayuim Azim was contacted by seven potential buyers but said: “One of them, a man from Pahang, wanted to buy the shoes at the price I offered and I also agreed to give three pairs of Converse shoes from the year 1950, 1960 and 1970 as gifts to him.”
He explained that he got hold of the sneakers from a US couple who needed money to treat their ill child in 2018 and added: “They contacted me via Facebook after seeing my posts on the history of vintage sneakers.”
However, after losing his job in Japan , where he was not able to travel ever since Malaysia closed its border due to the pandemic last year, he decided to sell them.
Wan Irfayuim Azim said another similar pair of shoes was being kept at the Converse Museum in Boston and he hoped the new owner would take good care of the precious Chuck Taylors which he gave up with a heavy heart.