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Exclusive: Behind the Patta x New Balance 920, with Brand Director Lee Stuart

patta x new balance 920 lookbook shot

Dutch streetwear stalwarts Patta sent the sneaker world into a frenzy with the unveiling of their first-ever product collaboration with New Balance, a stunning take on the 920. One of NB’s newest silhouettes, the 920 is inspired by the classic 900 and 1000 series, updated with a contemporary and fresh perspective. Sitting on the ENCAP sole unit made famous by the NB 990v3, the streamlined sneaker is wrapped in the legendary materials synonymous with the Made in England lineup.

Fresh from the famed Flimby factory, the limited edition Patta x New Balance 920 released just days after a surprise announcement, giving would-be customers hardly any time to digest the hype surrounding one of best collaborative sneakers of the year.

The lucky few are already wearing their pairs, but we think this collaboration deserves more time in the spotlight! We recently caught up with Patta’s brand director Lee Stuart to find out more about their latest collaborative endeavour.

Patta have had a longstanding relationship with New Balance, but this is the first time you’ve collaborated together on footwear. How did this come about?
Yes, we’ve worked on a few football-related events and launches in London and Amsterdam, but nothing as far as footwear has happened before. Obviously, the relationship has been there, as well as mutual respect, so this collaboration has been a long time coming. Good things take time, and if there’s one thing we can say about New Balance, it’s that they are superb.

We know Patta aren’t strangers to trendsetting, but was it daunting collaborating on a new silhouette? What drew you to the 920?
For starters, that 990v3 sole! Secondly, the double N. Thirdly, the crispy mesh. The overall appearance of this model immediately felt fresh and current.

Did you strike gold on the first sample or were many changes along the way?
Well, we sampled two very different colourways, but ended up releasing one. The first samples were top notch material-wise, but we definitely tweaked them a bunch. Everyone that’s ever worked with Patta knows that we can be quite demanding and meticulous when it comes to the details.

Has COVID-19 impacted the launch? We heard rumours about a NYC activation.
For sure, the launch was originally planned for a few months ago. The NYC activation was for the overall 920 story, I believe. Who knows, there still may be some NYC-related 920 stories coming…

What are your thoughts on the huge demand for New Balance collaborative projects?
It’s only right! NB is a great company with amazing product. For many on the creator side, it has been a dream to work with them. Nothing beats a pair of good ol’ grey NBs, though.

The Made in England products are renowned for their craftsmanship and attention to detail. Did that play a role when deciding on your first New Balance?

We believe all NB product is great, but their commitment to craftsmanship and US/UK/Japan manufacturing is obviously something to be applauded bigtime. The Made in England stamp was definitely a big factor. Having had a chance to visit the Flimby factory, we got to experience how tight-knit that family is. The quality control, the state-of-the-art machinery, the good vibes, and the great lunch are things we won’t forget.

What else can we expect to see from Patta this year?
We definitely have some tricks up our sleeve, but we’re not going to ruin the surprise…

Stay up-to-date with the latest Patta projects and other collaborations in our Releases section.

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