New Balance has tapped global fashion tech company Unmade for the launch of a customizable knitted shoe, the 111 Knit. Combining New Balance’s manufacturing heritage with Unmade’s innovative digital technology, the brands have created a new customization experience that allows customers to create a one-of-a-kind-sneaker. This is the first time any technology has been able to create “the millimeter accuracy necessary for footwear production.”
For an entirely bespoke product, the customization process provides six colorways, three patterns, and a variety of signature details to choose from. Customizable components include the sole, heel, “N” logo, laces and more. Unmade’s algorithms then turn the unique designs into production-ready data. The platform’s visualization system creates photographic renders of the sneakers before they have been made, including mannequin shots, modeled studio shots and lifestyle imagery.
This latest collaboration marks New Balance’s commitment to innovate its domestic manufacturing process and make production more sustainable and efficient; the company is reacting directly to actual consumer demand. “The fashion supply chain is broken, disconnected and needs to change — we know it and our global customers know it too,” Hal Watts, CEO of Unmade, explains. “Connecting demand directly to supply and taking the guesswork out of fashion production is the only way to evolve, and we love working with brands who grasp the importance and urgency of these changes.”
Retailing for $130 USD, the Unmade x New Balance 111 Knit sneakers are available to customize and purchase now on NB1.