Model: New Balance 574
Buy: Online at Alpha Industries in November, at select retailers in Asia starting today
Editor's Notes: No stranger to collaborations, Alpha Industries continues to riff on its hero offering, the MA-1 bomber jacket, with an unexpected New Balance team-up.
It's a fairly straightforward merging of the two brands. New Balance's quintessential 574 running shoe is outfitted with Alpha Industries' signature ribbon hang tags, one reading "Remove Before Flight" — an instantly recognizable marker of the brand — and the other emblazoned with the New Balance logo.
Out today, the shoe follows the same formula Alpha Industries seems to have implemented with past projects: just put a hang tag on it.
Perhaps its buzziest release, Alpha Industries' Vetements collab — an incarnation of the MA-1 — was adorned with the inimitable tags. AAPE's Alpha Industries MA-1 also featured the zipper pulls, as did Sutterheim's Alpha Industries rainwear.
Granted, a good portion of the brand's commercial success rests on those tags — considering its rich history, the ribboned pulls have morphed into a calling card for a specific aesthetic, one that marries American heritage with hype.
All criticism aside, the collaboration's apparel is refreshingly devoid of any red tags. A selection of khaki-colored sportswear — a windbreaker, hoodie, T-shirt, jogger, and cap — pay homage to Alpha Industries' military origins with tough graphics.
At the end of the day, Alpha Industries has managed to pull off more than what most can lay claim to: the brand has ballooned from niche to mainstream, thanks to the steady popularity of its easily digestible military-wear-with-flair. Its New Balance 547 is just another extension of the brand's consumer-friendly appeal — we're sure they'll be laughing all the way to the bank.