Here's Why New Balance has Updated the 247 | Grailify
Here's Why New Balance has Updated the 247

Here's Why New Balance has Updated the 247

At the end of June, we accepted an invitation from New Balance and travelled to the UK for the launch of the New Balance 247v2. At the Twelfth Man pub near Liverpool F.C.'s venerable Anfield Stadium, we had the opportunity to sit down with one of the shoe's designers, Joseph Walsh. Read on to find out more about the motivations behind updating the shoe and the significance of the newly released "Tritium Pack".

Hello Joseph, thank you very much for taking the time for this interview. Let's start by finding out a little more about your work. How long have you been with New Balance?
I've been with New Balance since 2013, so almost five and a half years. I'm a shoe designer and I work on lifestyle products. In that time, I've basically learned everything at New Balance, because I joined the company pretty young.

What did you do before you got into shoe design?
I had experience in graphic design before and worked a little bit with graphics for apparel. Then when I started as a shoe designer, I first learned how shoes work, about materials and designs.

Can you tell us about some of the projects you have worked on so far?
I worked on the 247 V1. We did a deconstructed mid-top version for winter and a summer version. Out of that came the New Balance 247v2, which is kind of an evolution of the original V1.

Talking about evolution: The V1 only came out in 2017, so it's not that long ago. Why did you decide to revise the Silhouette just one year after its launch?
I guess because the market is moving so fast now. I think people are just asking for it. But at the same time, as a designer, I think that once something is finished.... The 247v1 was finished almost 18 months before it was launched, and in that time you see something that you might want to change. You already have ideas about what you want to change and how you can improve it. So this area of the market moves very quickly as you think as a designer about what could be improved.

Well, if you had moved at that pace with the 990, we would have arrived at a V1000 now....
I think this kind of hybrid style is evolving faster than the classics. For example, the 574 is still the 574. This kind of shoe is maybe evolving faster.

Did you also think about this kind of longevity when it came to changing the New Balance 247v2? Can you tell us about your general approach to the new design?
The most important thing is that it still looks like a New Balance shoe. It still has a familiar feel. I think most consumers will recognise it as a New Balance shoe. The most important thing is to identify with the history of the brand but also challenge it. It's clearly a new shoe, but it has equally clear references to the past.

What are the most significant changes to the V2?
The "Tritium Pack" has the primary colours in the heel area, where the shape actually evolved from the V1. And since it had the shape, we did the colour blocking in that distinct way as an evolution of the V1. With the upper, I felt that the proportions around the colour of the V1 could be improved. So we moved that up a bit because the shoe is more pronounced, hybrid and technical. And the almost square saddle has become something of a trademark of 247, I think. That's a familiar point that consumers will see from the V1 to the V2. So the V2 still has the build in terms of the saddle and the foxes of a classic.

You already mentioned the "Tritium Pack", which includes seven colourways of the New Balance 247v2. How do the colours complement the design updates?
You know the classic grey version, of course, which is very inspired by the New Balance heritage. This package plays more with the versatility of the shoe. It's the same shoe, but it's very different because of the mesh material. It's more technical, and the colours are very sporty. It's maybe not something you've seen from us before, but it's very relevant today. The name of the backpack refers to a chemical element that glows by itself, which is also different from the traditional style and more technical.
So will the silhouette change and evolve quickly in the future?

Yes, I think so.

Thank you very much for the interview and these insights, Joseph.

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