They might not look like much at first, but believe me when I say that: Junya Watanabe’s monochromatic FW23 New Balance’s are his finest footwear collaboration yet. Period.

While collabs with the likes of Palace and The North Face may well have grabbed the headlines, it was the myriad of rethought NB silhouettes on show at Watanabe's PFW presentation that had us going — most notably an all-black 650 silhouette.

The 650 — which was first released back in the 1980s, but garnered popularity more recently following a link-up with Aimé Leon Dore — is a high-top basketball sneaker, and the taller silhouette to the sought-after 550, another in-demand shoe thanks to ALD.

The 650 and 550 both appeared to feature during Watanabe’s show, alongside two pairs of techy 1906s.

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Watanabe and COMME des GARÇONS are no strangers to a NB collaboration, not least following a string of them in 2022.

After starting the year with a green and yellow take on the 574, the duo returned to the silhouette for another two variations a few months later, before rounding things out with a pair of cozy Niobium Concept 2 mules.

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Junya Watanabe has made a habit of dropping good collaborations in recent seasons, and if FW23 looks like anything to go by, it’ll be continuing in much the same vein.

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