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I think it’s pretty safe to say that the New Balance collaboration train is showing no signs of slowing down. I mean, if anything it’s still gaining momentum.

From a second run of Fuel Cell RC Elites alongside Stone Island and some RC30s with Donald Glover (a collab also spotlighted at AURALEE's Spring/Summer 2023 show last month), to two 574s with Bodega and another collab with South Korea’s finest thisisneverthat, the last month alone has delivered more link-ups than you can shake a collaborative stick at.

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Now though, following a tease earlier in the year and an official unveiling in its Spring/Summer 2022 lookbook, Japanese label AURALEE is finally having its say on NB’s popular 2002R silhouette.

Available for ¥19,800 (about $145) via AURALEE's online raffle, which closes on July 15 (which is set to be followed by a global release next month), these two takes on the NB 2002R are only the latest remixes of New Balance's classic silhouette.

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From Bryant Giles, atmos, UNITED ARROWS, and The Basement, to Joe Freshgoods, Extra Butter, and a myriad of in-line releases, the 2002R has been reworked countless times this year, and is undoubtedly a sought-after silhouette.

For this collaboration though, AURALEE keeps things simple with two minimalist colorways adorning the majority of each sneaker, which is joined by pleasing pops of contrasting hues atop the silhouette’s unmistakable midsole.

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Arriving as a part of AURALEE’s SS22 offering, the 2002R is arguably one New Balance’s cleanest collabs of the year, despite being one of many. While one could put its appeal down to the silhouette’s undoubted popularity, others may just say it’s the Japanese brand’s subtlety that makes this tick. I’ll go with the latter, for sure.

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