The days when performance and heritage ran on purely parallel tracks, never to meet, are long gone. In fact, designing for a field that demands innovation functions a lot like any other compulsion with a law of diminishing returns. The longer you do it, the more you have to push the envelope to achieve the same thrills as before. A new project from New Balance, the Tokyo Design Studio, follows this line of thinking all the way to the ultimate fusion of performance and style.
As a longtime hotbed of New Balance fandom, the working relationship between New Balance and Japan is a well-established one. The Tokyo Design Studio takes this mutual admiration to a new level. Developed and designed in Japan, technological innovation and a progressive design sensibility are interpreted through the distinctly Japanese lenses of authentic history, painstaking craftsmanship and exacting quality.
The newest release from the Tokyo Design Studio tackles one of the ultimate in purely technical fabrics, Gore-Tex. Its functional usefulness has always been beyond reproach, but the current vogue for practical chic has elevated the stalwart, waterproofing textile to another level of style.
The R_C2 (Reveal Concept 2) melds a visible technology concept and a refined, casual design. An ripstop and Gore-Tex upper with visible branding is paired with nubuck overlays, and a translucent TPU cage that reveals exposed inner-liner style Gore-Tex branding. The reveal concept carries over into the shoe’s midsole, with New Balance’s signature, ABZORB cushioning making a rare, visible appearance.
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