New Balance's sneaker offering is looking healthier than ever under the guidance of ALD's Teddy Santis, and coinciding with its rise to the top of the game, its ambassador line-up is shaping up to rival festivals worldwide.
Digging into the hivemind that is sneakerhead culture and knowledge, into the minds of the game's OGs, you'll soon find that New Balance has always been desirable. On the surface, however, it's easy to associate the brand with greyscale 990s, Dadcore, and Steve Jobs.
Though the brand has remained synonymous with high-quality materials and craftsmanship throughout its lifetime, its favorable adoption by mainstream audiences, specifically within fashion at large, has been a slow burn.
Spearheaded by collaborations on street level like WTAPS and The Basement to high-end with Miu Miu, NB has filtered into all areas of the market, going toe-to-toe with the Nike Air Max 1 and dominating the Dunk Low.
The brand's sharp rise in popularity can be largely attested to Teddy Santis' influence (which still has plenty of fruit to bare in 2022), but its alignment with Hip-Hop culture as of recent is definitely noteworthy.
A long-time lover of all things NB, and the music industry's favorite rising star, Jack Harlow, recently signed to the brand as an ambassador, breaking the tradition of Hip-Hop stars like Ye, Pusha T, and Drake choosing whether to affiliate with adidas or Nike.
The most recent signee, Amine, took to Instagram to announce his ambassador status, sporting a pair of the upcoming 2002R "Protection Pack" in "Vintage Orange." Honestly, I'm shocked that Arc'teryx wasn't the first brand to snap up the artist, but New Balance seems just as fitting.
With a crazy year of releases ahead of us, New Balance will continue to put pressure on its competitors, perhaps even expanding its Hip-Hop ambassador roster. NB festival, anyone?