How the New Balance 990 Became a Cultural Phenomenon

Featuring conversations with musician Chaz French, model Veneda Budny, and Dominick Adams of Maketto.

Presented by New Balance //Footwear 

As trends come and go, brands sometimes leave a permanent impression which spawns a loyal fanbase. In very special cases, that loyal fanbase can grow into a cult-like following and even into a cultural phenomenon. The New Balance 990 fits that description, with the running silhouette now more than 30 years old. At its launch, the 990 was the first performance athletic shoe offered at $100 USD, yet it was able to cultivate a passionate customer-base dedicated to the sneaker’s niche despite its high price. Much of the 990’s success today can be spoken about in the same terms as the New Balance brand’s — a commitment to stability, cushioning, and flexibility incorporated with classic aesthetics, which has been adopted by scenes around the world.

The story behind the New Balance 990 started in 1982 with the sneaker undergoing minimal cosmetic changes since its introduction. Its wide fit, grey suede, and clean simplicity continues to make it a cult-classic. From Steve Jobs’ go-to shoe to teaming up with brands such as Concepts and J.Crew to transcending its dad shoe status, the 990 continues to carry over its original sensibilities as a performance running shoe even as it gets slight tweaks and version updates. In 2015, designer Gosha Rubchinskiy welcomed the 990v3 into the realm of contemporary fashion, styling the shoe for German GQ. The model remains an east coast favorite as the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia regions rely on shops, Shoe City and DTLR to stock the limited colorways. Rather than trend-chasing, the 990 concept has stayed true to its principles, its “Made in the USA” heritage, and has slowly but surely became an international trend.

Read Full Article
Image Credit
Sebastian Jimenez/HYPEBEAST
New BalanceNew Balance 990New Balance 990V3New Balance 990v4

You may also like

A Closer Look at the Aries x New Balance 990v3
Footwear 

A Closer Look at the Aries x New Balance 990v3

To celebrate the launch of “Planet Aries.”
6,676 Hypes 6 Comments
New Balance Gives the M990 a "Jupiter" Rework
Footwear

New Balance Gives the M990 a "Jupiter" Rework

With an all-suede upper.
1,645 Hypes 3 Comments
Sneaker Freaker & New Balance Give the 574 a "Tassie Devil" Makeover
Footwear

Sneaker Freaker & New Balance Give the 574 a "Tassie Devil" Makeover

The popular colorway returns.
2,876 Hypes 4 Comments
Daisuke Obana Shows How Tokyo's Vintage Clothing Culture Still Inspires
Footwear 

Daisuke Obana Shows How Tokyo's Vintage Clothing Culture Still Inspires

The Kōenji neighborhood is home to over 2,000 vintage stores.
3,257 Hypes 1 Comments
See How King Combs Pulls Inspiration From Harlem's Vibrant Culture
Footwear 

See How King Combs Pulls Inspiration From Harlem's Vibrant Culture

Featuring a special appearance from Dapper Dan.
4,269 Hypes 8 Comments
A First Look at the New Balance MS247v2 in Grey
Footwear

A First Look at the New Balance MS247v2 in Grey

Making its grand debut next week.
5,582 Hypes 7 Comments


What to Read Next

Sisqo's "Thong Song" Finally Gets an Official Remix & Video
Music

Sisqo's "Thong Song" Finally Gets an Official Remix & Video

Listen at your own risk.

Nike's LunarCharge Model Is Set to Drop in An "Obsidian" And "Armory Navy" Color Scheme
Footwear

Nike's LunarCharge Model Is Set to Drop in An "Obsidian" And "Armory Navy" Color Scheme

A brand new look for the hybrid runner.

Kanye West Responds to 'The Life of Pablo' TIDAL Release Lawsuit
Music

Kanye West Responds to 'The Life of Pablo' TIDAL Release Lawsuit

Kanye wants the lawsuit dismissed.


Daniel Patrick Presents His Sportswear-Heavy Range for 2018 Spring/Summer
Fashion

Daniel Patrick Presents His Sportswear-Heavy Range for 2018 Spring/Summer

Activewear everything.

Meet the Chinatown Doyenne Behind Music's Favorite Jewelry Spot
Fashion 

Meet the Chinatown Doyenne Behind Music's Favorite Jewelry Spot

“Hit Canal Street, vintage gold medallion/ Smokin’ blunts in front of public housin’.”

BEAMS, Engineered Garments & Converse Drop an Ultra Clean Multi-Cream All Star
Footwear

BEAMS, Engineered Garments & Converse Drop an Ultra Clean Multi-Cream All Star

Understated luxury.

More ▾