While the first half of the year looked to be a wash of New Balance 550s that would bring us well into Christmas, New Balance had other plans. The brand has dropped collaboration after collaboration with lead designers in the streetwear and creative space. Models such as the New Balance 990v3, 991, 2002r and 990v4 have lead the way with stylish colourways and real stories behind the designers use of materials, culture, and general aesthetic. Pick any single sneaker from the brand and there’s a good chance you’ll find it in our top 10 at the end of the year.
Brand: JJJJound x New Balance
Release Date (Australia): October 21, 10 am AEST
Buy: New Balance
2022 is set to mark the 40th anniversary of New Balance’s most famous sneaker line, and the collaborative efforts are coming strong in the back half of the year. JJJJound has thrown his hat in the ring in the past with models such as the JJJJound x New Balance 992 and he’s looking to do it a few more times in the next few months with rumours of a 990v3 hitting the market soon. But it’s this 990v4 that really caught our eye with its muted colour scheme and use (or lack of) colour across the shoe setting it apart from the traditional JJJJound aesthetic.
Released in 2016, this 990v4 keeps the original iconic shape and treatment in its re-release this year. The brand has introduced a redesigned sole unit and added minor updates to the upper pattern but the ethos is the same. Thoughtful engineering, minimal aesthetic, and gimmick-free comfort help the sneaker remain incontestably relevant in sneaker culture. There are only a few sneakers that are true icons in this space and the 990 is one of them.
JJJJound was originally launched in 2006 as a digital mood board and over the next decade, the brand evolved beyond the realm of the Internet. Now famous for its collaborations with New Balance amongst many other brands, the artist and collaborator share strong design ethics seen here in the 990v4.
The sneaker features tonal nubuck and meshes construction with a textural contrast that highlights the silhouette’s muted colourway. Subtle 3M details, reflective secondary elastic laces and custom logo-moulded toggles enhance a versatile functionality. White JJJJound logos are kept to a minimum on the heel as well as the black insole. We love the shoe for its minimal and modern design and the fact it resembles one of our favourite iterations of the 990 lineups is simply a bonus.
In Australia, the New Balance 990v4 x JJJJound collaboration will be available online from 10 am Thursday, October 21, with a suggested retail price of $380. We suggest you act quick.
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