Earlier this year we were asked by New Balance to produce a series of videos highlighting five of the brand’s most innovative designers. In addition to shining some light on the designers and giving them a voice, the videos served as a teaser for the brand’s 110th anniversary which was marked with a special lifestyle media event in Tokyo last month.
Our journey kicked off in Tokyo where we met with Shugo Moritani, lead designer at the Tokyo Design Studio and Shinya Ohno, designer of the running classic category. We had the chance to visit their shoe archive in the basement which by far is the most complete New Balance collection any of us had ever seen: from old iconic running models, to a near complete made in USA line and unseen prototypes made at the iconic Flimby factory.
The New Balance archive is also where you’re the most likely to find Shinya who believes that good design stems from heritage and who is constantly revisiting old models and reinventing them with updated materials and technologies.
The next day Shugo took us to his favorite bike store Tokyo Bike in the old neighbourhood of Yanaka. Shugo is inspired by urban cultures and reinvents products to fit the fashion and function demands of the modern lifestyle consumer. He walked us through the latest New Balance collaboration with Tokyo Bike which was on display in the store.
For the second leg of the trip, we landed in the brand new NB HQ office in Boston to meet with Kai Marcucelli who heads the Made in USA line, Christian Gross, who is specialised in injecting advanced technologies in classic running silhouette, and Shinichi Kubota, General Manager of Global Lifestyle at New Balance.
The 700 employees New Balance HQ relocated in a 250,000 square-foot building on Guest Street in the Boston Landing development in Brighton in September of this year, and boasts 15 acre of land and its own railway station named after the native company.
It was good to see the new headquarters and experience the family feeling that surrounds the company in Boston. You can feel the history of the brand strongly but at the same time the excitement for the future.
Take a look at the 4 video series below which gives a voice to the designers themselves as we hear them reflect on daily events and experiences that inspire them to constantly #reinvent.