Crooked Tongues x NB 320, 574

Crooked Tongues took part in the recent New Balance Shake! 320 night in Tokyo, collaborating on a one-off 320 and 574 for the occasion. It’s a shame these will never be released but here is their in-depth coverage of the experience…


“Lately the shelves have been crammed with some of the most garish shifts from New Balance’s once sober colour palette we’ve ever seen, with neon and fish scales aplenty. [Ed. – NBB does not condone fish-bashing! ;)] With this in mind, when we received the brief from hobby:tech and crew at KIKS TYO to go head to head with the Grey One and DQM teams on special one-off NBs, we accepted the challenge. No strangers to designing product to limited time limits, once we got the CADs of the shoes in question we were a little surprised – a 574 wouldn’t be too much trouble, but a 320? It’s definitely a classic – the forked toe panel and low profile design was a marathon-winning revolutionary product in the mid-70’s, and a shoe that connoisseurs like the Oi Polloi boys treat with reverence, yet it’s impossible to beat the dual-colour delight’s of the shoe’s heyday. But, seeing as the shoe was being celebrated in Japan with some tasty in-store displays at NB’s Tokyo store, it had to be part of this double act.”


“Naturally the duo had to have an underlying theme, and with a lot of love in the office for the simplicity of the palette that a shoe like the 850 carried. Simple, eye-catching and effective, rather than jogging breathlessly alongside hyperstrikes, coated in garish leathers in an effort to keep up. were the order of the day. The notion of shoe makeups that looked like performance releases of specific eras rather than the usual limited edition lifestyle fodder was optioned in original discussions regarding last year’s CT/NB quartet, but here, it made perfect sense. Alas, NBXCT embroidery toward the forefoot never made production due to issues regarding such blatant dual branding, but on seeing the final 320, designed in order that keeping the white toward the front would give them a cleaner look when teamed with jeans, and a Prestoesque appearance, we were glad that the omission was made.”


“In the flesh, we were shocked by how nicely our creations turned out. Serious attention to detail and faithfulness to our designs from the guys in the NB lab ensured beautiful leathers, some offbeat touches that still worked like the metallic heel panel on the 574s, and even the toebox fabric looked exactly as specified. The Crooked Tongues ‘classic colours’ lettering was faithfully reproduced on the footbeds and hangtags, to try to bring a little of the CT obsessiveness to take out our US ‘rivals’ but whereas the battle between NB’s regional releases has been fought online, in line with the brilliant unpredictability of Japan, we had to lyrically duke it out by drumming up support onstage in front of a crowded nightclub. Time will tell as to who’s the eventual winner, but sadly, regardless of the outcome, these two creations won’t be getting a release. But we’ll always have the memories. Well, the ones that the local brew and severe jet-lag didn’t erode. Thanks to all at KIKS TYO, Hiroki at Passover and New Balance Japan/UK for the opportunity…”

Via Crooked Tongues

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