ARTICLE BY Sneaker Freaker
Junya Watanabe New Balance BB480
Junya Watanabe New Balance BB480
Junya Watanabe New Balance BB480
Junya Watanabe New Balance BB480

Junya Watanabe Revives the New Balance BB480
Release: 18 March 2021

Frequent New Balance collaborator Junya Watanabe has been digging around the archives for his latest creation: the BB480. The choice to use the heritage basketball model from circa 1983 is a slight deviation from Junya’s usual practice of highlighting NB icons like the 1500 and 574. But in true Junya form, he’s put together a pretty nice colourway of an unfamiliar style.

He achieves this by not going overboard with colour-blocking – not that he ever does – and sticking to a simple white and black palette. Where this layout differs from other two-toned retro court shoes is its bold black toe box in place of an expected white panel. This strong black section anchors the front of the shoe, while the lightly padded ankle collar holds down the rear. And then perfectly placed in the centre of the upper is the dual-layered N logo, that’s black with a light grey (possibly, probably reflective) backing.

This is certainly some very simple yet effective colourway design. Junya lets the template do all of the talking, only leaving his mark on the ankle with the ‘eye’ logo and matching insole print.

The Junya Watanabe x New Balance BB480 is due to release in Japan at select stockists on March 19, however, a handful of pairs are currently available from SSENSE.

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