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New Balance Embraces Both History and Innovation in its Latest Collection

Aimé Leon Dore founder Teddy Santis' first collection as creative director of New Balance Made in USA foreshadows the brand's step into elevated apparel and footwear.

model sitting in a chair wearing new balance made in usa
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When New Balance announced the appointment of Aimé Leon Dore founder Teddy Santis to creative director of its Made in USA line in April 2021, plenty wondered what these releases would look like. Affordable, in-house Aimé Leon Dore (aka more of the same)? Or, will Santis compromise his ambitions for the sake of scale? We got an answer this week in the form of a preview of the first release, which drops April 28th.

The release — a 990v1, 990V2, a 990V3, sweat shorts, sweatpants and a sweatshirt — also offers a glimpse into how the Made in USA collection, New Balance's name for products that contain "a domestic value of 70% or more," will operate under Santis. Releases will be categorized under three umbrellas, Elevated Legacy, adaptations of classic styles, Uniform Staple, everyday essentials, and Quickstrike, limited releases or special colorways. The trio of Santis-designed 990s, a series that accounts for the v1, v2 and v3, arrive in tandem with the silhouette's 40th anniversary. And while they're certainly new-looking, brand cornerstones like gray suede remain. That makes Santis' first collection as creative director as much a celebration of the past as it is a glimpse into the future.

That's part of the reason why New Balance hired Santis, chief marketing office Chris Davis told WWD. He's uniquely talented at tying threads between old and new, a balancing act that's made Aimé Leon Dore a must-know brand in the men's fashion space: It's awesomely antique-ish while plenty on trend, capable of impressing both hypebeasts and opinionated menswear oracles.

"Not only does he have an incredibly authentic and passionate tie to New Balance, but he’s uniquely positioned to help preserve the history of Made, which is the foundation of the brand, while simultaneously guiding its evolution through his unique design sensibility," Davis said.

New Balance Made in USA Collection

  • Price: $65-$199
  • Release date: April 28th at 10 AM EST

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    New Balance
    MADE in USA 990v1
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    MADE in USA 990v2
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    MADE in USA 990v3
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    MADE in USA Core Hoodie
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    MADE in USA Core Short
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    MADE in USA Core Sweatpant
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