Grunge (Seattle Sound) artist and front man of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain died in 1994 wearing Converse shoes and his sudden and untimely death was seen by many as the end of Grunge. In a similar way, the death of Buddy Holly marked the and the day rock’n’roll music died (February 3rd 1959). Now to commemorate the life of the Generation X hero, and 100 years of Converse, the shoe company are releasing a Kurt Cobain-inspired signature sneaker. The limited edition Converse shoe which is released May 2008 during the Converse Century celebration and will bear Kurt’s name, lyrics, writing and signature. There is of course a slight irony since grunge musicians were noted for their unkempt appearances and rejection of designer gear, like signature shoes. However the new release marks an official collaboration between the late singer’s estate and the brand. Last year, when Saatchi & Saatchi , London featured images of Kurt Cobain in ads for Dr. Martens footwear, the agency and its client were heavily critised by Courtney Love, the widow of Cobain, who expressed concern that companies were allowed to profit from images of her dead husband without permission from his estate. Airwair International, the British company that makes Dr. Martens, was also less than impressed with events and canceled their contract with Saatchi & Saatchi, reportedly worth £5 million, or $9.9 million, over three years.
The earning power of dead celebrities is enormous and according to Forbes magazine, who compile a list each year, Kurt Cobain made $50 million (US), topping Elvis Presley.