New Balance has a particularly soft spot for making shoes in the United States, stitching together its top tier models (99X series, 1123, 2002) and many more right here at home. One of every four NB’s sold in the US was made in one of the brand’s New England factories. So New Balance is celebrating this 73-year history by relaunching three of its famed domestic running shoes – 1300, 998 and 991 – today at San Francisco haberdashery Unionmade as a “Made In USA” Fall 2011 collection.
The 1300 comes back in an Off White/Navy look, the 998 in a Grey/Silver/Red edition, and the 991 in Grey/Speckle and Red/Speckle colorways. The first 60 pairs sold come with a commemorative New Balance/Unionmade pine box and a canvas dust bag. If you’ve kept up with NB, you’ve seen the 1300 and 998 models mingling at retail in various make-ups over the last few years. But the 991, the shoe Apple CEO Steve Jobs helped make a yuppie-and-non-yuppie favorite, might cause a special stir since it hasn’t populated stockrooms en masse since 2005. The release is bound to snowball interest for the original Grey Suede colorway – Jobs’s favorite – to be retroed. Should that release confirmation ever come, Steve might find some added pep in his step and regain an extra dosage of the will to live. Or if he’s dead by then, the Apple board of directors can get the smelling salts ready and reanimate Steve for the next WWDC with a fresh pair of NB 991′s on his propped up feet. It would be crass to speculate though. But wait, there’s more…
Here’s the NB/Unionmade event details, with pics below:
493 Sanchez Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
Saturday, July 9th
Wine by Ridge Vineyards, beer by Samuel Adams, food by Bi-Rite
FYI: If you want the Grey/Speckle 991′s but can’t make the event, OnlineShoes has some pairs right now.