New Balance and Burn Rubber have joined creative forces to launch the limited-edition New Balance MT580 Burn Rubber. Since 2004 Burn Rubber has been Metro Detroit’s exclusive premium sneaker boutique. Burn Rubber, a phrase from the Motor City’s car culture comparing sneakers on a person to tires on a car, is known throughout the community as the place to get the most sought after sneakers and clothing.
The New Balance 580 Burn Rubber is built on one of the most classic New Balance silhouettes. The sneaker is lined with a sleek orange, gray and black argyle in homage to the shop colors of Burn Rubber. Key features include: white patent heel and tongue labels, reflective grey foxing, and a customized hang tag featuring the shop’s mascot, the Chef. We took the opportunity to chat with Burn Rubber owner Rick Williams about the project, via an interview offered below, with further information available through the collaboration’s microsite.
Rick, can you please tell us a bit about yourself and Burn Rubber?
My name is Rick Williams and I co-own Burn Rubber with my business partner Roland Coit. I also deal with all brand, design and special projects for Burn Rubber. Burn Rubber is a sneaker and clothing boutique located in Metro Detroit.
How did this collaboration come about?
We have developed a relationship with the good people at New Balance from going out to the trade shows in Las Vegas. Being a long time admirer of the brand, when the opportunity presented itself to work on a NB silhouette, it was a no brainer. Burn Rubber will become a platform to raise the value of the New Balance brand in the Midwest, more specifically Detroit.
What was the inspiration behind the design?
This particular design was inspired by the culture and history of our brand and retail location. The color palette chosen is in direct correlation with our shop’s corporate colors. The materials that we went with came from different aspects of some of our favorite sneakers. Colors are not enough in today’s market — quality materials are key.
Why did you choose the MT580 model?
The MT580 is my favorite sneaker from the New Balance line. This model has received a lot of attention in Asian markets but I feel the American NB consumer is missing something. Let me give them what they are missing.
What were some surprises from the entire development process?
The process was very smooth. Before we started the process with New Balance, I had covered all the bases on what I wanted the shoe to look like. It was just a matter of sitting with the design team at NB and going over what I came up with. After a couple of samples, we were good.
What was your favorite part about designing a shoe?
I would say finding the sweet spot between color and material use. There’s a moment where everything lines up and makes sense. I live for that moment.
What else can we expect from Burn Rubber going into 2011?
2011 is going to bring brand growth and more meaningful partnership projects. I wish I could tell you what we have in the works!