New Balance has delivered arguably some of the best and buzziest collaborations this year, but few have been as anticipated as its upcoming project with famed designer Salehe Bembury.
Late yesterday, Bembury — who aside from his independent design work is the Versace VP of sneakers and men’s footwear — shared images of the shoe collaboration’s box, a stunning illustration of an outdoor landscape. He captioned the post, “Peace Be The Journey,” the tagline for the collab.
Speaking with FN today, Bembury — a Los Angeles transplant by way of New York — explained the inspiration behind his New Balance collaboration, which he said will be a fall release, and the meaning behind the tagline.
“The collaboration was inspired by my recent attraction and time spent in nature. Since moving to the West Coast, I’ve really got to take advantage of all the National Parks in close proximity — Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite Park,” Bembury told FN. “I’ve been to all of these within the last year. Sequoia National Forests, the Redwoods. They’re all within relatively close proximity if you consider the United States. And they’re also drastically different.”
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He continued, “It’s been a meditative journey. The tagline of the collaboration is ‘Peace Be The Journey.’ Ultimately, that tagline is a metaphor for life, of how we’re all on these journeys and we’re all trying to reach a goal, whether it’s tangible or intangible. That also relates to my hikes. I bust my a** trying to get to the top of these hills that are like 4,000 feet up and I’m sweating and I’m tripping and I’ve sprained my ankle but then you reach the peak and it’s silent and it’s beautiful.”
Although he provided insight on the inspiration, Bembury would not reveal the New Balance model that he reimagined for the collab or the functionality of the shoe. He did, however, state it is an existing shoe from the brand. Bembury also said that there could be more to the project with New Balance than just a shoe collab, but would not reveal details.