New Balance Celebrate 40 Years of 'Made In England'

May 05, 2022 by Joey Birch

New Balance Celebrate 40 Years of 'Made In England'

New Balance has seen unrivalled success over the past two years with a myriad of collaborations with the likes of Joe Freshgoods and Aimé Leon Dore as well as sell-out GR releases including the 2002R Refined Future (Protection Pack). 

New Balance facility, Flimby Cumbria

A huge part of New Balance’s USP is incredible materials throughout every release. However, it’s in their ‘Made In’ series’ consisting of ‘Made In USA’, with sneakers being produced over five facilities across Maine and Massachusetts, while the ‘Made In England’ line is exclusively made in New Balance’s facility in Flimby, Cumbria where the highest quality products are produced.

New Balance is celebrating 40 years of their Flimby factory, which opened in 1982, with a special promotional video alongside a ‘Made In England’ pack titled the ‘Flimby Catalogue Pack’ looking back at five of the silhouettes that pay tribute to the factories heritage. 

Flimby Male Voice Choir, 2022

The promotional video for the anniversary features the Flimby Male Voice Choir singing over a range of clips showcasing Flimby’s surroundings and culture as well as a view into the long-standing factory and its staff. Each member of the choir signing can be seen wearing a beautiful deep red pair of the 670 set to release as part of the pack featuring velvety soft suede on the upper with beige accents on the heel. 

The pack looks to revisit, and in some cases revitalise, certain silhouettes that have come out of the Midlands-based factory. The most well-known of the selection are the 991 and 1500. 

The 1500 was New Balances' first step into running footwear after it initially focused on foot arch support during the brand's inception. While hardcore New Balance fans are sometimes hesitant of the latest releases of the 1500 due to the key details on the silhouette's design changing over time, New Balance has ensured to go back and make the silhouette as close to the original as possible. 

The second, and what will most likely be the popular pick from the collection, is the 991. Originally called the M991 upon its debut in 2001, the silhouette was the first sneaker in the brand's roster to include their incredibly comfortable ABZORB technology in both the heel and the forefoot as well as introducing NBs ‘Ndurance’ rubber outsole for additional protection and longevity. 

For the long-term New Balance fans, the 670 and the 773 have been included within the 5 shoe pack as a way of looking into the brand's past. The 670 dates back to 1984 as one of NB’s early silhouettes in addition to the 773 which is a deep dive from New Balance’s catalogue. 

Bringing the pack into the future, the addition of the 2020 ‘920’ silhouette provides a well-rounded collection of Flimby’s history in footwear. Inspired by the 900 and 1000, the sneaker is a ‘Made In England’ design produced exclusively in Flimby.

Each pair from the collection features the standard high-quality materials you’d expect from a ‘Made In England’ release. Premium suedes can be found on the 991 and 670 while soft supple leathers are used on the 1500 and 920 all surrounding New Balance’s usual addition of lightweight yet thick mesh on the toe box and around the upper on each silhouette.

Dover Street Market x New Balance 991

By way of honouring the older models in the collection, New Balance has included a pre-aged aesthetic to the suede and the rubber midsoles which is most visible on the 991, giving it a similar look to the recent Dover Street Market collaboration released last month.

While New Balance are celebrating its heritage, they are also continuing to release timeless colourways that take inspiration from their predecessors thanks to Teddy Santis. Despite the Creative Directors' first collection with NB yet to be released in Europe, in hand images from across the pond in America have begun to cause a stir. 

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