What We Can Expect from Teddy Santis at New Balance
Just last month, a two-page spread in The New York Times revealed that Teddy Santis, the mastermind behind Aimé Leon Dore, had been appointed as the creative director for New Balance’s Made in USA sub-division. For fans of fashion and sneakers, this was big news, because Santis’ reign at the helm of his own label has brought him both critical acclaim and a cult following. Drawing nostalgic inspiration from the streets, hip hop, and basketball culture, Santis regularly crafts an authentic New York aesthetic in his designs.
With this exciting appointment not officially commencing until 2022, what can we expect from Santis being at the helm next year?
This won’t be the first adventure undertaken by New Balance and Santis, with the duo having already built a strong relationship via multiple collaborations in the past. From their slew of 990s to their 1300, Santis always injects his design language and expert tastes, making for clean-cut colourways. And don’t forget the 550 which was brought back with the help of the ALD king. Originally dropping in 1989, the 550 was something of an enigma, and hadn’t been touched for years. Since its return last year, the 550 has become a major hit, with not only the shoe dropping in collaboration with Aimé, but also quickly becoming a weapon within New Balance’s GR arsenal.
Santis will become the creative director of New Balance’s Made in USA sub-line, which is separate to the regular NB product range. According to New Balance, the Made in USA label represents ‘a premium collection that contains a domestic value of 70 per cent or greater’. This’ll mean that Santis will have access to arguably better materials, and be able to be more hands-on with production. If his boiled wool Clarks Wallabees and NB1300 can attest, this man knows his fabrics. One thing that we’re expecting to happen is that Santis will recreate a slew of NB hallmark silhouettes in a range of new and interesting fabrics.
We’re also hoping to see the return of older 990 models. Just by scrolling through Santis’ Instagram account, and from looking at past collaborations, we can already tell this man loves his 990s. So, we wouldn’t be surprised if he brings back a cheeky V2 or V3 every now and then.
Aimé Leon Dore are well-known for their viral social media ad campaigns. Their most recent one for their SS21 collection titled ‘The World’s Borough’ saw Santis enlist a star-studded cast to flex his latest creations. And he brings the same energy into his endeavours with New Balance, with the reveals and lookbooks exuding New York 90s vibes, with styling that is undeniably on-point. If he’s given full creative control over the campaign output over at Made in USA, then you can be sure to see more inspired editorial shoots and lookbooks.
With basketball being a key aesthetic inspiration for ALD, thanks to Santis’ personal love for the sport, there’s also a strong chance that a slew of hardwood Made in USA creps will be on the horizon. As mentioned earlier, Santis was responsible for bringing back the 550, and he recently shared a high-top version dubbed the 650 on Instagram. Specifically though, we’re expecting an array of older NB basketball models to sit under the Made in USA banner. They’ll rock a premium build, and have a look rooted in 90s street ball culture.
The combination of Santis’ design nous with New Balance’s catalogue of historic models is a match made in sneaker heaven. When Santis takes over the creative direction of the Made in USA line next year, we’re hoping he focuses on heritage and builds up an arsenal of creps injected with nostalgia.
Congratulations Teddy, we’re excited to see what’s to come!
There’s been a big shuffle in the sneaker industry of late with an array of new creative directors at all your favourite sneaker brands. Read all about it here.