Sports brand New Balance is taking a new style direction with the launch of its street-chic concept sneaker 247 at January 2017’s Pitti Uomo. Brian Lynn, senior global product manager lifestyle, explains the project and the vision behind this fresh multipurpose sneaker.
Tell me about the new 247 sneaker.
While taking design cues from our most iconic classic styles (576, 998, 1300), our new 247 model is a sleek, contemporary concept for the modern metropolitan style seeker consumer and their round-the-clock lifestyle. We focused on a forward-looking model merging performance with classic running while keeping versatility in mind. Its sock-like bootie construction, asymmetric vamp detail and RevLite midsole offer superior fit and comfort while allowing flexibility. We wanted to mix premium quality materials and craftsmanship, sophisticated styling and superior comfort for its Lux pack and vibrant hues and eyecatching silhouettes for its Sports pack.
What future objectives will NB focus on?
Our 247 model will be our main focus for the first half of 2017 and beyond. We want to evolve further into this more contemporary space with new silhouettes and re-workings of some of our most iconic models, though we will also continue to focus on heritage running and court core products. Some of the most premium and iconic silhouettes will continue to be made in our US and UK factories, a pride for now and the future.
Our 247 model will be our main focus for the first half of 2017 and beyond. We want to evolve further into this more contemporary space with new silhouettes and re-workings of some of our most iconic models.
How will sneakers evolve in the next 10 years?
3D printing and similar aspects are very exciting. We played with it for our recent 066 model but more ideas will develop soon. In a decade there could be some significant shift beyond the usual running, court and basketball category domination. What’s clear is that consumers are becoming increasingly savvy, are thirsty for newness and know exactly what they want.
What triggers your creativity in designing a sneaker?
Primary influences are high fashion and streetwear. Secondary can be anything –car design, pop culture, art shows, music, subcultures, architecture and almost any other design field. At NB we like to draw influence from our historical designs so that anything new also has common design language and is identifiable with our heritage as a performance running brand.
What fairs are most inspiring for your work?
Pitti is great from a fashion perspective and the likes of Agenda for more traditional sneaker/streetwear. Though most of our inspiration comes from travel and understanding our different target consumers–who they are, what they want, what they’re wearing and why. For materials we attend Premiere Vision, Lineapelle, Pitti and the NE materials show in Boston. We also find it beneficial to go out into retail and explore other industries to find articles that we might be able to adapt into our footwear. You have to look in places that the competition is not if you want to deliver something new.