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Sep 14 2021
You may have noticed New Balance released the new XC-72 silhouette a few weeks back. Perhaps you even noticed the similar elements of the successful New Balance 327 silhouette. Both shoes were designed by Charlotte Lee a sneaker designer based in Manchester, UK, who has been with New Balance since 2014.
When questioned about the success of the 327 Charlotte stated “I don't think anything could have prepared me for the demand or the positive reaction, to be honest. Because I was using so many models from our back catalog, I was almost anticipating an overwhelming amount of negativity.”
Similar to the New Balance 327 and 237, the XC-72 follows that familiar 1970s design ethos. What Lee was determined to do, however, was find a new angle to approach the design. That’s when a lesser-known model from New Balance’s archive, called the Gator, came into play.
“I think that New Balance, obviously, has got an amazing archive from the 70s, but a lot of it is quite similar,” Lee says. “So when I was looking back at the archive, I came across a shoe called the Gator. It’s a New Balance running shoe, and it has this crazy outsole design — actually the outsole design, the spiky part of the XC-72, it’s taken directly from the Gator.”
The XC-72 is also inspired by the world of racing,” the silhouette also draws from concept cars and futuristic designs. For Lee, it meant taking a look not just at New Balance’s 1970s shoe archive but also at what the car industry looked like at the time.
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