The XC-72 Drives New Balance’s Maximalist RevolutionRelease: 18 September 2021
As heritage continues to provide the backbone of New Balance’s strong position on the scene, a new design vanguard is giving the company’s modern offerings a chiropractic kick. Enter the XC-72, the latest maximalist effort from the motoring mind of Charlotte Lee.
Having already made waves with the tide-turning 327 and its sleek 237 sibling, Lee’s new XC-72 design – joining its predecessors in NB’s ‘Shifted’ collection – is an outlier, breaking past the audacious threshold already stretched by the 327.
‘The XC-72 is the physical embodiment of retro-futurism,’ says Lee. ‘I took inspiration and specific elements from the past and reimagined them for today’s consumer.’
In the same vein as the 327 and 237, the XC-72 draws on some obscure cuts from the NB back catalogue, repurposing their design language for a modern audience. Lee pushes proportions to the absolute limit, enlarging just about every panel for boldness, while still retaining the intricate layered look of classic runners.
Like the split personality of the 327, the XC-72 is a story of halves. The outsole is split down the middle, with XC-15-inspired tread on the lateral side, while the circular knobs made familiar by the 375 are reprised on the medial side.
In a similar fashion to Lee’s previous designs, NB collaborated again with tres chic outfitters Casablanca to launch the XC-72 with the deluxe label’s now signature white, orange and green trim. For this in-line edition, a continued adherence to the brand’s 1970s moodboard is demonstrated, recalling the defining blue and yellow tones of the era, plus a half-and-half mix of black and gum rubber outsoles. The material selection is similarly period correct in its lush suede and mesh combo, but its chrome-free production methods are a contemporary commitment to more eco-conscious considerations.
Modern sneaker design has ‘Shifted’ into gear, so get up to speed with the new XC-72 directly from New Balance today. And keep an eye out for more colourways to drop in the coming months.