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Black Friday. One year ago KITH released the “Daytona” Collection, and it was met with overwhelming acclaim. Its amazing to see the steps we’ve taken as a brand since then. I feel as if Black Friday is one of those crystalizing moments, where a brand can genuinely display their progression from year to year. This year is surely no different, as my team and I have been preparing for this week for roughly the past 11 months.
Coming off the “Daytona” collaboration with New Balance, I began developing a concept to pay homage to the locations of our two stores - Manhattan and Brooklyn. We are at a time when it is almost impossible to release something that is unlike anything else out there, just due to saturation. I approached these two shoes with the mentality of creating a product that will hold relevance 5 years from now, because that is the test of true quality. Every time I write about a shoe I am about to deliver, I repeatedly claim it to be, “one of my favorite releases to date.” However, if I did not love each and every new venture that I set out on, then I would not be doing what I do. I will never offer something that is not at the level the consumer deserves.
With that said, my latest partnership with New Balance has yielded results that I hold in very high regard. I chose the 530 to represent Central Park, while I modeled the 850 after the Brooklyn Bridge. While they may seem like unorthodox silhouette choices, both are ones I love from New Balance, and ones that I desire to maximize the potential of.
No facet of these trainers went untouched, as both models teem with details. The 530's color palette is meant to resemble Central Park during the late fall season, as the leaves begin to change and autumnal colors take hold. The burgundy upper is composed of a rich oily pigskin suede with quilted detailing on the vamp, as well as an off-white microperforated nubuck on the toe wrap. Goldenrod 3M was used under the burgundy netting, as well as the “N”-logos on the side panels. Tonal leather is added on the heel, which features an enlarged debossed “530”-branding in the same typography used for New York street signs. A rubberized label that represents the New York Parks & Recreation logo is emblazoned on the tongue, thus making the inspiration clear. The insoles are custom-printed, and feature a map of Central Park. The final details are a quilted poly-filled lining, and an olive gum outsole which adds to the overall aesthetic.
The colorway of the 850 is not what may be immediately associated with the Brooklyn Bridge, but being obvious is never a great plan of attack. The gradient shades of blue are made to emulate the gradient of the sky behind the bridge. A light blue microperforated nubuck is used for the toe, which effortlessly flows into a darker blue oily pigskin amidst the quarter panels. The heel is made from a high grade microperforated saddle leather, and is meant to match the limestone used to construct the bridge. The red hits on the “N”-logos, as well as the graphic on the leather tongue were inspired by the flag perched at the top of the bridge. Other notable details include custom-printed insoles which feature the schematics of the actual Brooklyn Bridge, as well as a two-tone icy blue translucent outsole that plays to the water.