WTAPS / New Balance

Brand: WTAPS x New Balance

Model: M990V2

Release Date: August 23 (initial release), October 27 (Japan-exclusive rerelease)

Price: ¥42,900 (approximately $390)

Buy: raffle at New Balance JP, WTAPS stores, and select international retailers

Editor's Notes: Will New Balance's collaborative hot streak ever end? Judging from releases such as the Casablanca XC-72, Joe Freshgoods' 990v3, and Extra Butter's 2002R, it seems unlikely.

Tetsu Nishiyama's WTAPS only kept the streak alive with its second militaristic New Balance sneaker, which first released in late summer and is returning for an autumn release in Japan.

Following an initial collaborative outing on the 992 — culminating in the 992WT — WTAPS and New Balance struck gold again by putting the 990v2 center stage.

Much like its 992WT counterpart, the upcoming 990v2 comes in a palette rooted in Nishiyama's military inclinations. Whereas the first collaboration was an exploration of the signature olive drab found throughout WTAPS apparel collections, take two serves as a reinterpretation of NB's iconic grey tones.

The timeless greyscale takes on the 99x series traditionally pair suede and mesh in two contrasting hues, balanced out with a white midsole and laces. WTAPS pushes the boundaries of this traditional aesthetic, coloring various fabric textures in four Pantones of grey.

Soft grey suede overlays are situated at the toe and heel, giving the darker grey mesh of the toebox a finish akin to aged steel. Metallic silver branding and laces offer a warm contrast to the lighter tones below, framed by the dark textured leather on the tongue and heel. Ensuring its presence is undoubtedly clear, teal WTAPS branding sits at the heel alongside matching details.

Despite the muted palette, the WTAPS x New Balance M990V2 is a testament to Tetsu Nishiyama's innate ability to elevate classic designs through simple tweaks to color and fabrication. Releasing alongside the greyscale sneakers is an accompanying apparel capsule of long and short sleeve t-shirts in navy and — you guessed it — grey.

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