When Kawhi Leonard signed with the Los Angeles Clippers on July 10, 2019, it sent shockwaves both literal and figurative through the City Of Angels. Leonard shifted the balance of power in the NBA‘s Western Conference, but what else shifted were California’s tectonic plates due to a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Now, Leonard and New Balance are celebrating the impactful occurrences of that day with a “Seismic Moment” collection of new takes on the KAWHI and 327 plus apparel.
First debuted by Leonard himself during the 2020 NBA-All Star Game — during which he captured the first-ever Kobe Bryant MVP Award — the KAWHI “Seismic Moment” features a white base with colorful Richter scale-inspired details on the tongue, quarter and collar. Heels nod to the coordinates of Kawhi’s Moreno Valley, CA hometown, while eyelets and heels acknowledge his affinity for classic cars. From a performance standpoint, data-driven Kinetic Stitch uppers provide support while FuelCell midsoles bolstered by a full-foot performance plate serve up responsive cushioning.
Off the court, the 327 covers its entire upper in bright Richter colors, with its light blue base and large white midfoot N logo offset by red, green, orange and yellow detailing. Trim midsoles are made of white EVA foam and icy blue nubbed outsoles complete the look. Both shoes are accompanied by special NB tees and hoodies with multi-color graphics.
“Kawhi wanted to honor his hometown and the monumental decision to come home and play there,” says Jonathan Grondin, Design Director for New Balance Basketball. “We used the earthquake to drive the design, even looking to the shake map for the sole unit. Kawhi’s decision to come home shook the hoops world and this design pays homage to that important moment.”
For more news on upcoming sneaker styles, check out the latest installment of HYPEBEAST’s weekly Footwear Drops list.