From its humble roots as a company that produced arch supports, New Balance has evolved into a brand that creates footwear that is "iconic and wearable" for everyone from "the elite runner to the everyday athlete." In fact, says Senior Product Manager Jennifer Lynch, it's the brand's deep history that keeps it so relevant today; a number of New Balance styles that were put out 30 years ago simply as performance shoes have today come to embody a retro fashion sense that sneaker fans crave. This continued versatility and relevance are the focus of the latest installment of Blue Moon's ongoing series, The Craftsmen.
"We try to maintain a specific heritage," says Kai Marcucelli, New Balance's Lifestyle Design Manager, "and make sure that's not too kitschy as we go forward." Much of that heritage is inspired by a love of classic Americana, and there is indeed a current of patriotism running through New Balance's mandate--demonstrated first and foremost by the fact that it's one of the last athletic brands still made in the United States.