words // Angel Navedo
images // Angel Navedo & Alexis Kennedy-Navedo
The New Balance flagship store in Manhattan fashioned itself into a museum last night, opening its archives and filling the space with relics of its rich sneaker history — right before revealing the upcoming Great American Novels Collection.
The new Collection, planned for the third quarter of this year, features an exciting array of New Balance’s American-made staples, including the 574, 997, and 1400. An extensive display of striking designs that pair quality fabrics and warm colors spanned across a table peppered with bound classics.
All told, it was a compelling effort to effectively showcase how New Balance has evolved since 1906. The items from the archive didn’t only speak to the brand’s traditions, but the innovation of its craftsmanship. Glass display cases housed historical and contemporary tools for constructing sneakers, a variety of foot lasts, the first New Balance Trackster and a vintage black leather shoe in all its dilapidated glory.
Sitting proudly between all the sneakers and antiques, New Balance celebrated also its long-standing reputation for American-made footwear. A video tour of its Skowhegan Factory in Maine ran in one corner, while well-placed signage provided visuals for key years throughout New Balance’s history and detailed productivity from its New England-based shoe factories.