Buy: UNITED ARROWS' site and stores for ¥8,250 (about $74).

Editor's Notes: Countless famous folks have pitched for footwear brands over the decades, from the very influential to the very famous to the very unexpected. You could argue for days about the best in the biz but, to me, no one really did it much better than Ma and Pa Balance, the senior stars of some mid-'70s New Balance campaigns.

Always accompanied by the slogan "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Ma and Pa appeared in only a few ads for the sneaker company but that's all it took. Seeing them styled in NB 320s and what might've been their own clothes (plus some groceries) really hit that sweet spot of effortless vintage cool. It's no wonder that retro-obsessed Aimé Leon Dore recreated the Ma and Pa ads for its 827 sneaker collab.

In partnership with New Balance Japan's 9BOX project, which creates playful NB-branded graphic tees for the domestic market, UNITED ARROWS' BEAUTY & YOUTH is reviving two classic Ma and Pa images atop two exclusive shirts. The white long-sleeves feature the iconic elderly style icons on the rear, complete with the slogan and retro branding, and old-school "The Intelligent Choice" verbiage (more ALD inspo!) at the front chest.

Alongside Ma and Pa, there's another thematic tee design that borrows an image from NB's centenary in 2006, highlighting 24 notable sneakers from the brands' history. It's cool, but maybe not as cool as the other ones, though that's pure bias on my part. Oh, and lest we forget T-shirt itself, which is also pretty interesting: it's cut from a techy NB polyester that's quick-drying, sweat-wicking, anti-pilling, and still boasts a soft cotton-y feel.

We Recommend
  • new balance protection pack 2002r
    New Balance's Protection Pack Keeps on Giving
    • Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    Aminé's New Balance Shoe Is Bananas
    • Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    thisisneverthat's New Balance 550 Shoes Are Washed-Out & Wonderful
    • Sneakers
  • new balance 550
    15 of the Best New Balance 550 Colorways So Far
    • Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    Our Favorite New Balance Sneakers to Buy Right Now
    • Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety
What To Read Next
  • JJJJound's latest New Balance collaboration is a take on the 2002r silhouette.
    JJJJound's New Balance 2002R Is Its Best Yet
    • Sneakers
  • A model wears a see-through shirt with denim patches from Coperni's Spring/Summer 2024 collection runway
    At Coperni SS24, the Ghosts of Garments Left Unworn
    • Style
  • Campaign imagery from Tekla & Birkenstock's collaborative collection
    Tekla x Birkenstock Is a Lifestyle
    • Style
  • concepts new balance 998
    Count Your C-Notes. Concepts' New Balance 998 Collab Returns
    • Sneakers
  • Swatch & OMEGA's Moonswatch in Mission to Moonshine Gold "Harvest Moon"
    Surprise Harvest: Swatch & OMEGA Restock Mission to Moonshine Gold Moonswatch
    • Watches
  • Detailed photographs of GORE-TEX New Balance 580 sneakers designed by Mita Sneakers, MASTERPIECE SOUND & Hombre Niño
    These Waterproof New Balances Are a Piece of Japanese Streetwear History
    • Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.