New Balance and snowboard company 686 celebrated the onset of cool weather with the East Coast launch party for their first-ever collection, 686 Times New Balance Collection. Held on Thursday night, October 22nd at renowned sneaker store, Concepts, in Cambridge, MA and with our good mate Frank The Butcher in attendance, we got a quick behind the scenes glimpse into what went down and what was on show.
For the first time, New Balance and rider-owned and operated 686 come together to introduce a winter collection of boots, footwear, outerwear and accessories. The collection is a perfect combination of historical legitimacy, quality craftsmanship, technical wisdom and progressive minimalistic design. We call it: 686 Times New Balance.
At the forefront of the 686 X New Balance collection is the 580 Times New Balance Snowboard Boot. The boot combines proprietary New Balance patented technologies including Rollbar® stability and Abzorb® cushioning along with 686 BOA® FOCUS system and Recco® avalanche technology. The result is a fully functional, technically advanced snowboard boot with a sneaker-like fit.
To compliment the 686 X New Balance collection, we have customized one of our most celebrated silhouettes- the 580 - with Times collection colors and materials for off-mountain wear.
From its origins in the mid 90's as a trail running sneaker, to the special modern day partnerships between iconic Japanese brands, the 580 has become a global object of obsession. The 580 Times New Balance Sneaker features timeless design qualities, premium materials and technological footwear advances in footwear.
While the 580 has a storied past, the special 686 models boast contemporary materials for clean styling and reliable comfort and fit. It is this combination of classic heritage and modern function that rests at the core of the 686/New Balance partnership.
The 686 X New Balance collection will also include: 575 Times Insulated Jacket featuring Infidry® dry technology, DWR durable water repellency and Recco® avalanche rescue system technology; 580 Times 3-Ply Jacket with fully taped 3-ply seams, water resistant technology and Recco® avalanche rescue system technology; 580 Times New Era Hat; Gradient Times Zip Hoody, Gradient Times T-shirt and Sole Times T-shirt.
"686's dedication as a core brand in snowboarding and their dedication to product performance, aesthetics, and quality are what make this a natural partnership" says Joe Casagrande, general manager for New Balance Lifestyle, "Similar to New Balance, 686 is an independent, directional, and authentic brand that has had success over the years, but
has not become overly hyped or too commercial."
Michael Akira West, owner and creative director at 686, adds, "Sneakers have been a part of my life just as much as snowboarding and skateboarding, and I hope to bring to board sports what NB has done in the performance and lifestyle categories". West continued, "New Balance and 686 share similar backgrounds in quality workmanship, technical fits and being independently operated. Combining the two brands will definitely create excitement."