New Balance must be the Walter White of footwear brands because it just keeps getting away with this. And by this, I mean dropping an endless series of outrageously excellent collabs, offering nothing but a streak of extreme Ws, as the kids say.
What’s crazy is that the many, many, many excellent New Balance collaborations unleashed over the past couple weeks alone aren’t even New Balance’s biggest dub (again, as the kids say). New Balance’s hugest score is somehow securing not one but TWO Taylor Swift co-signs in a matter of days.
Maybe New Balance actually can keep getting away with this.
Okay, so far, so basic but, then, on October 3, Swift wore GANNI’s latest New Balance collab, which is not only a much cooler sneaker but the second time in a row that she’s worn New Balance shoes (not including the times she wore shoes that weren’t sneakers).
You have to realize how huge that is.
Despite (or perhaps due to) being a worldwide force of nature, Taylor Swift doesn’t deign to rep any ol’ brand. She has the ultimate luxury to chose what she wishes to wear: any organic acknowledgement from Taylor Swift is effectively law to Swifties and guarantees mainstream attention for any product, brand, or person lucky enough to receive it.
It’s especially impactful given that Swift doesn’t rep any clothing companies since those Keds campaigns from over a decade ago. Makes you wonder how exactly she feels about New Balance.
New Balance Taylor’s version… coming soon?
For now, the New Balance 550 is the next-best thing. It naturally sold out on New Balance’s web store immediately after Swift’s headline-smashing outing. So it goes with anything Taylor Swift, you see.
But New Balance is up to much more than making converts of household names.
Like, the Taylor Swift stuff is big crossover success-type stuff but New Balance would be nothing if it wasn’t also turning out great shoes. And New Balance is turning out great shoes in spades.
Somehow, New Balance simultaneously dominated Paris Fashion Week and the sneaker space. Runways revealed collaborations with top-tier designers like Junya Watanabe, Miuccia Prada’s Miu Miu, and even Issey Miyake, the latter being the Japanese label’s first-ever collaboration with a big-time sportswear brand.
It’s a match made in Steve Jobs’ dreams! (For clarity, Miyake designed Jobs’ signature black turtlenecks and the Apple CEO wore only grey New Balance 992 sneakers. Issey Miyake x New Balance is a happy coincidence)
At the same time as it clad stylish Fashion Week tootsies, New Balance titillated sneakerheads with a handful of high-profile reunions.
New Balance’s collaborative streak, all revealed in the span of days of each other, brings the sportswear company in touch with some of the biggest names in the biz, including Carhartt WIP, Ronnie Fieg’s KITH, JJJJound, and Slam Jam, which refused to even offer a glimpse of its New Balance 990v6 prior to the shoes’ grand unveiling.
Then, there’s Concepts’ New Balance 998 “C-Note,” one of the all-time greatest New Balance colorways of all time.
It’s also coming back as part of New Balance’s gargantuan Fall 2023 season.
That’s a lotta New Balance love. And, thing is, we wouldn’t be breathlessly cataloguing it all if it didn’t uniformly bang. Which it does.
New Balance is once again going to keep getting away with this.