Season: Fall/Winter 2021
Model: New Balance 992
Buy: Online at Concepts' website
Release Date: November 20 at 10 a.m. EST
Editor's Notes: New Balance's latest shoe is pretty tasty. In collaboration with Concepts, the sneaker giant just dropped the New Balance 992 "Low Hanging Fruit," an homage to none other than the late Frieda Rapoport Caplan.
Who is Caplan, you ask? She founded Frieda's, Inc., a wholesale produce company that revolutionized the grocery industry.
She also introduced American consumers to edibles from South America, Australia, and Asia. Most notably, she helped popularize kiwis, the fuzzy fruit native to China.
As legend has it, the kiwi was originally named the Chinese gooseberry, a moniker that some found off-putting (hello, xenophobia).
It's not entirely clear whose idea it was the rename the fruit, but Caplan embraced the rebrand, helping a healthy appetite for kiwifruit spread across the U.S.
Embracing Caplan's reputation as the "Kiwi Queen," New Balance and Concepts wrap the 992 in a brown suede upper reminiscent of the fruit's furry skin. Hits of chartreuse at the lateral, midsole, and tongue recall the kiwi's green insides.
Sweetening the deal, the shoe boasts a strawberry-printed insole, a reference to the popularity of kiwi-strawberry-flavored drinks — a creation that was birthed in 1996, the same year as Concepts.
Accompanying the delectable sneaker is a collection of apparel that harkens back to the beloved kiwi.
A fleece zip-up, khaki cargo pant, and kiwi-strawberry-colored sweater are among the range, which expands Concepts' in-house clothing line.
I'm no produce impressario, but the kiwi seems like anything but low-hanging fruit. If only its sartorial interpretation were kiwi-scented, too.
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