^^The above link doesn't work for me, so I hope the following isn't what it's linked to!
CROOKED TONGUES x NEW BALANCE 'CONFEDERACY OF VILLAINY' PACK
After Crooked set a standard for New Balance collaborations in 2004, with four limited edition 576s, after the hiatus that followed the Solebox collaborating 1500 in early '05, the sneaker landscape has changed and it takes a little more to stand out in a sea of overcooked, loveless gangbangs between brands. Crooked's relationship with New Balance's Flimby HQ has been tight and Winter 2006 seemed the right time to drop more gems.
Rather than clambering for a concept that hasn't already been done to death, they wanted to make quality and attention to detail the focal point. Between four models - collaborative favourites, the 1500, 577 and 575, plus debuting with its very own custom sole unit for this special edition, the 991, these UK made shoes have been overseen so that every stitch, leather, fabric and stealthy dose of 3M is as requested. Each model is linked by use of an eyecatching highlight colour - red, yellow, blue and green, a white metal top eyelet and a custom tongue label.
Of course, with the original Crooked Tongues /New Balance pieces setting precedents, there was a need to take the project even further to ensure sleepless nights for anyone following this drop. Call it self-indulgence, but for all at Crooked Tongues, this was designed with them in mind, under the faintly arrogant notion that they're on the same wavelength as the discerning heads, disillusioned by weak drops that cause a momentary palpitation, but ultimately lead down the slippery slope to buyers remorse. Generic packaging has led to a wall of faceless browns, reds and blues and special packaging can cement classic status on the spot.
Operating under the team name of 'Confederacy Of Villainy' the box art takes it back to a time when villains were occasionally charming, often brutal, but memorable in their wrongdoing. Reflecting the nationality of the crew member in charge of the makeup - the 575 is represented by the gentleman robber of the Old West, Black Bart, the 577 by Chinese bandit Black Sword, the 1500 by scourge of the seas Blackbeard and the 991 by the feared highwayman Black Tom. Custom box artwork by tattoo artist and graphic designer BJ Betts, as well as premium stock makes this the logical conclusion of a Crooked Tongues quest for some of the greatest sneaker packaging to date to cap this intelligent collaboration. Limited to 99 pairs of each model, the 'Confederacy Of Villainy' rides into town in November 2006.
Over the next week we'll reveal our latest collaboration with New Balance - the 'Confederacy Of Villainy'. One shoe each day for the next four days allowing you the opportunity to see each shoe on it's own merit.
The technical running shoe that's earnt its rightful place in the hearts of heads worldwide is a prime candidate for some collaborative action, so it took a little more to make the 1500 stand-out after some tight partnerships using this premium performance silhouette. Using a mixture of leather and mesh there's a few asides to the original construction of this shoe, before the animal hides took over entirely. A mix of black, white and grey plus a nicely-timed burst of very flouro red reflects the villain the shoe was themed after - Blackbeard, the hollow-point bad-boy of piracy who allegedly upped the fear factor by rocking lit matches in his beard. Given the dark subject matter, a black midsole was incorporated - it was relevant, so we're unapologetic to the white sole faithful!
While we're on-topic, there's plenty of other details on board - a dose of contrast stitching, both white and red and in line with this 1500's three villainous brethren, a white metal eyelet, and finally a unique tongue label that will only ever grace these four models. And then there's the packaging. Working with BJ Betts, there's some premium pirate skull action at work that should impress those bored with the generic boxes stacked in their closets. It's been a helluva lot of work and cost, but in the years since '04's first wave of CT/New Balance collabos, the stakes have been well and truly raised. As confirmed last week, these are limited to 99 pairs on sale exclusively via the site in early December... www.crookedtongues.com/
I'll be back with further pics as they are released!