Junya Watanabe’s fall 2023 collection featured a surprise collaboration: a multi-sneaker launch with New Balance.
Revealed on Saturday in the brand’s runway show during Men’s Paris Fashion Week, the collaboration featured five new styles revamping New Balance’s signature 650 and 1906 silhouettes with Watanabe’s staple neutral hues. The high-top 650 lace-up styles included two black colorways — one crafted with reptile-embossed leather paneling and flat gray rubber soles, the other with shaggy suede and flat white rubber soles.
The second revamped New Balance’s 1906 sneakers, a round-toed, paneled lace-up style with ridged rubber soles. Watanabe’s take on the silhouette features two monochrome black colorways: One with a mesh base and leather paneling, the other with a leather base and mesh paneling. The third features a mesh base and leather paneling as well, albeit with monochrome white uppers and black soles.
Though there’s no confirmed pricing or release date for the collaboration or its specific styles, it’s anticipated to launch in the fall 2023 season. Previously, Watanabe and New Balance collaborated on two drops of different colorways of the latter’s 574 sneakers in 2022. Additionally, Watanabe has collaborated with numerous brands within his collections, including Carhartt, The North Face, Levi’s and Karrimor. New Balance has also proved its adeptness in the realm of collaborations, launching co-branded shoes with Staud, Miu Miu and Aimé Leon Dore over the years.
Paris Fashion Week Men’s began the year with a range of new menswear shows, held in Paris from Jan. 17-22. Presenting brands and designers will include Saint Laurent, Hermés, Dior, Givenchy and Rick Owens. Most notably, the Week will feature new brand developments, including its debut shows from Botter and Ludovic de Saint Sernin, as well as KidSuper designer Colm Dillane’s debut line for Louis Vuitton.