Store Opening: Converse

By Anne Vickman

Hipsters, rejoice! Today, Converse opens its first retail store, and it houses the largest collection in the country. The new Newbury St. shop has an exclusive line of apparel, customizable kicks, and 40-plus shoe styles that can’t be found anywhere else. Although Converse has its roots in basketball (and 20 pairs of limited edition Pro Leather ’76 shoes — the ones Larry Bird used to rock — to prove it), the North Andover-based sneaker company has expanded its line to include a high-low collection of street-ready pieces: leather moto jackets, denim, t-shirts galore, skate bags, unisex accessories, etc. Anticipated best-sellers? All of the Boston-tagged shirts and shoes, especially ones that plug neighborhoods like Allston, Southie, Brookline, and SOWA.

Two floors — exposed brick, shelves made from reclaimed high school bleachers, and subway tiles make for an urban retro feel — give the space the perfect throwback aesthetic that defines the brand. Don’t miss the second-floor customization station where you can get your shoes “inked.” Scroll through patterns and images via docked iPads or the old-school way: from a book. Then, in-store graphic “maestros” will screen print your kicks in a matter of minutes, and finish them off with your choice of laces. Voilá, Chuck Taylors à la you. We chose a rad robot, and finished it off with some metallic black laces, and we can’t wait to show our legions of Chucks-loving friends. Ok, our two Chucks-loving friends.

348 Newbury St., 617-424-5400,