Salehe Bembury x New Balance 2002R | Raffles Closed!

With the revisit of the 2002 silhouette form New Balance’s famed 1000 series, the silhouette faces its first collaboration and the first between New Balance and Salehe Bembury.

Since making the move from NYC to LA, Bembury found a new found love for the outdoors which has paved its way for this last collaboration, bringing a host of trail inspired materials and colours to this classic NB silhouette. 

With this new found love of the outdoors, the colour way for this collaboration was heavily inspired by the Antelope Canyon’s colour palette, bringing a sense of depth of field to silhouette with a host of orange hues and mixture of materials including hair suede heavy mesh.

To celebrate this upcoming launch, we sat down with Taylor Canby, the Creative Design Manager at New Balance. Catch the interview below before the raffle links for the Salehe Bembury x New Balance 2002R.

Footpatrol: Hi Taylor. To get things started, please could you tell us about your current role at New Balance and your own personal background? What was your journey to becoming the Design Manager for the Asia-Pacific territory?

Taylor Canby: I grew up in a town a short drive from New Balance headquarters where I started my career as a footwear designer. Early on I travelled frequently to Asia on development trips working directly with factories troubleshooting and putting thefinishing touches on designs before going to production. The environment, the culture, and the experience of it all was just so captivating. Eventually, I had theopportunity to move to Southern China to do this day in and day out, designing and working with the factories directly. After a couple years of that I was asked to be part of a product team based out of Hong Kong specifically focused on addressing the needs of the emerging APAC market. I jumped at the opportunity and have been in Hong Kong for over 10 years now. My job over the past few years has evolved a bit. I now manage all global lifestyle SMU’s but continue to work on collabs and designs specifically aimed at the APAC market.

FP: The New Balance name is synonymous with craftsmanship and premium materials, especially within the UK. I think many of us over here tend tothink of Asia taking more of a focus on innovation or technology. Drawing on your own experience, how does the brand perception of New Balance differ in the Asia-Pacific region? How much influence does this have on the product you release?

TC: I think in the eyes of the consumer the brand perception isn’t that different here in APAC. Of course there are some differences in taste and style but consumers still pay a lot of attention to craftsmanship and appreciate the use of premium materials. That being said, living and working here has had and profound influence on how I work. The largest of which has come from working with designers in Japan. Their hyper appreciation for craftsmanship and extra attention they pay to the small details rapidly became part of my process.

FP: When you’re working for a brand with such strong heritage, does the past inform the present when you work on a design such as the 2002? Or do you try to approach things with a clear head and a blank canvas?

TC: I haven’t learned how to clear my head, even while meditating. When working on a project like the 2002 or any bring back model you have to approach it with respect. You want to ensure that you do justice to the original designers intent. This one was especially challenging because the original designer, Andrew Nyssen is still at the company and it was originally made in USA. I scrutinized over the shape of each part literally down to the stitching margin.

FP: Outside of archival reference points and NB’s formidable back catalogue, what else is important to your creative process? Do you look at any other personal interests, like music or art, for fresh ideas?

TC: Music, art, movies and coffee are all good sources to help give fuel to the creative process. Seems impossible for me to pinpoint one thing that drives it. I believe all Designers are inherently preceptive. We are always looking around and absorbing what’s happening in the world around us. I am lucky to live in such a vibrant city. There is no lack of energy, motion and things to grab your attention. Well… Maybe that’s it. It’s my environment, the city that provides the fresh ideas.

FP: How involved do you personally get beyond the design process? Is the marketing and communications side of things something that you like to participate in?

TC: I tend not to get involved too much beyond the design process. Though, given the opportunity I love being able to provide more context to any design when necessary. Besides, my marketing teammates are great at what they do.

FP: How does it feel to see a project go from the drawing board to peoples’ feet? When you’ve worked so closely with a design, does that feeling of satisfaction still exist when the finished product hits the street?

TC: Even after all these years I feel a strong sense of pride seeing people wearing shoes I’ve worked on. The biggest joy I get is when it’s a shoe I worked on years ago and I can see they’ve kept it in great condition. That’s when you know you got it right and they really appreciate the design.

FP: Taking a moment to reflect on the current pandemic situation, how have you responded as a brand? We’re hearing of difficulties in being able to source high-quality materials: will this affect or inspire your future designs? If so, how do you address these challenges without visibly cutting corners when working on such top-tier product?

TC: Yeah, New Balance as with everyone around the world has had its fair share of challenges with this pandemic. As you might know, in the beginning of the year we stopped making shoes in our US factories and converted the line to make Masks for a period of time. There was and still is a lot we are challenged with as we navigate through this pandemic. Without a doubt this is having an impact on how we design but due to any material issues for the moment. Fortunately, even with our setbacks and delays we haven’t had to cut corners to keep making our shoes.

FP: What’s next for you, both personally and as a brand? Is there anything coming up that we should be keeping an eye out for?

TC: There are several collabs on the 2002 coming out of Asia that will be dropping in the upcoming months and a fresh model the beginning of the year. Don’t sleep.

Talking of Colabs, please find below all raffle information for the Salehe Bembury x New Balance 2002.

To enter the ONLINE raffle – CLICK HERE!

To enter the LONDON IN-STORE raffle – CLICK HERE!

To enter the PARIS IN-STORE raffle – CLICK HERE!

To enter, you’re required to sign up via the above form, this WON’T be available in-store to sign up on. 

To sign up to the Online raffle, you will be prompted to complete a pre-authorisation payment of the retail price of the product. This will be held until raffle completion. Those successful will have their raffle win posted out to the address entered during sign up. Those unsuccessful will see a return of their funds within 3-5 working days. The raffle is limited to one entry per household! Multiple entries will be cancelled!

In-store winners will be contacted via email informing them of their win and pick up dates. Due to current government laws surrounding Covid-19, the store is working on an appointment only basis. You will need to contact the store to make an appointment for a time during the stated pick up dates.

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