Much more than a maker of sports apparel and footwear, New Balance has become a brand that prides itself on storytelling, engaging communities and embracing "lifestyle" in all of its diversity. The Boston-based institution's newly launched "Conversations Amongst Us" campaign by creative director Joe Freshgoods is nothing but a commitment to this direction. The first of its multi-phased campaign sees the thoughtful transformation of their well-loved lifestyle sneaker silhouettes 2002R and 550.
"Conversations Amongst Us" tells a new story of the Black experience, emphasizing crucial dialogues that connect the community while inspiring the next generation of Black creatives. Joe Robinson, founder of Joe Freshgoods, worked with Associate Product Managers Jordan Johnson and Kevin Trotman of New Balance's all-Black internal product team The Black Soles, on everything from designing, imagining packaging to crafting the ad campaigns. It features brand ambassadors Storm Reid and NBA All-Star athlete Kawhi Leonard.
Under Freshgoods' Midas touch, both silhouettes come in an off-white, yellow-hued cream, the "lived-in" look something we are all familiar with and have come to favour in terms of both practicality and style. The highly coveted 550 features a ‘Conversations Amongst Us’ branding on the tongue label and sockliner, alongside its classic canvas and suede accents and "N" with a navy trim. While the chunkier 2002R continues to heed its title as the dad sneaker, Freshgood's take features Ripstop and suede underlays in a bright mustard hue that echoes throughout the accompanying line of apparel.
“In part, clothing has been a big part of our culture, influencing the streets and the runway. A culture where you are only as fresh as your white sneakers. Where we once worked to keep an all-white sneaker clean, free from dirt, scuffs, and scrapes”, says Robinson. “This time we invite colour. Lingering positivity and hope. The yellowing of an all-white shoe, that has been muddled, battered, and worn. Standing in resilience and reflection. Still existing with a story to tell. A story everyone should know. Let this collection be a conversation starter, for us. All of us. About it all.”
Conversations Amongst Us is now available on New Balance and Limited Edt stores. The 2002R (S$189) and 550 (S$159) will be available at the New Balance Paragon Experience store and Suntec City Mall Lighthouse store, while the apparel designs will be available at the Suntec City Mall Lighthouse store.