After months of teasers, Tuesday finally saw the full unveiling of Stone Island and New Balance's collaborative sneaker. The drip-feed of information began with the announcement of Tokyo Design Studio's involvement in the project and culminated in a series of macro images of the sneaker. Hype and anticipation were at a fever pitch.
The polarizing nature of the silhouette (dubbed the RC ELITE_SI | NB_1) became instantly clear once it went on full display. Unlike the pair's 2013 collaboration which offered a two-piece selection of the classic New Balance 577 that featured Stone Island's popular Raso Gommato, the RC ELITE is an ultra-modern performance sneaker.
Now that the dust has settled, and we head towards release day, our editors react to the Stone Island x New Balance RC ELITE in all of its glory.
Fabian Gorsler — Footwear Editor
“A lot of people don’t get why Stone Island and New Balance went performance on this collaboration. What people might have missed is that Stoney is all about material innovation and pushing the boundaries of tech in fashion. That translates perfectly to one of New Balance’s fastest sneakers. I also love the way the upper makes it look like a performance sneaker is busting through a heritage design. It’s a nice change of pace from all the heritage collaborations (which have all been incredible as well).”
Jake Silbert — News Editor
“Stoney x NB takes everything that makes the Protection Pack cool and amps it up to infinity. Like it or not, this is precisely the kinda collab we ought to be seeing more of: lovely colorway, experimental textiles, an underappreciated model. In fact, the best part is that it isn't merely a boring reskin of a trendy sneaker. And, for what it's worth, the FuelCell silhouette rules."
Graeme Campbell — Senior Features Editor
“There are certain brands which, when they try their hand at sneakers, feel a bit like a novelty. Stone Island is one of them. Like the Sock Dart and Samba collaborations in the past, this isn’t a necessarily bad looking shoe, and I’m sure it packs the kind of cutting-edge materials that would make a CERN technician weak at the knees. But what would one even wear Stoney branded kicks with? To me it’s as jarring as the thought of a New Balance rain jacket. It’s a neat collector's item, nothing more.”
Tora Northman – News Editor
"I've never bought Stone Island before this collaboration, and that probably won't change after seeing these."
Sam Cole — Associate Style Editor
“If you're into your HOKAs, then I think the silhouette is pretty much spot-on, but I just can't get behind the massive branding. For me, it's way too blatant. It's a given at this point that any collaboration Stone Island puts out is going to polarize its audience. In the end, the Nike and Supreme collabs won over a lot of the OG fan base, and I'd be surprised if that doesn't happen again.
I welcome the change of pace from all the collaborative 990Xs and 2002Rs we've had this year. That being said, while I can appreciate the direction, I'm going to have to be a total hypocrite and admit I'd have preferred a heritage silhouette that makes the most out of SI's fabrics and dyes.”
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