With NBA All-Star Weekend and Valentine’s Day directly around the corner, Chicago-based designer Joe Freshgoods and his Don’t Be Mad label have teamed with New Balance for a “No Emotions Are Emotions” collection, consisting of a 992, OMN1S and full set of apparel. The offerings are nothing short of a love letter from Freshgoods to NB, with the designer stating “We about to create history, we about to show people what we can do. Let’s have fun and re-write history baby. My sweet love, New Balance,” as part of a soulful soliloquy that accompanied the release announcement.
Both styles use a healthy dose of vibrant seasonal pinks and reds, but apply them in different fashion. The lifestyle-geared 992 proffers a full pig suede and mesh upper with a veritable medley of different shades: a vibrant fuchsia base layer is overlaid by soft salmon tones on the midfoot and bright crimson on the toe, top/bottom eyestays and heel. This same fuchsia hue then receives a redux on the toebox and collar overlays.
A luxurious tan leather is also added into the mix, appearing at the tongue, the bottom of the throat and the heel. Branding is provided by a pink N midfoot logo, small reflective 992 hit towards the collar and a wordmark graphic on the tongue. Down below, the midsole is split down the middle between white and black, and is equipped with ABZORB cushioning. Tie-dye insoles and multiple lace options finalize the look.
Meanwhile, the OMN1S — Kawhi Leonard‘s signature model — offers a more straightforward black, pink and tan palette. It’s far from simple though, as a repeating print of an emotionless cartoon face is swathed over its gradient fade FitWeave upper. Freshgoods himself explained the meaning behind this motif in an Instagram post, stating that he created it to “represent for those who simply just let their work speak for them.” “No Emotions Are Emotions” is stamped in pink across the black midfoot bands, and midsoles are loaded with New Balance’s patent FuelCell cushioning technology. The repeating print is continued under the translucent herringbone outsole, and tie-dye insoles complete the look.
A full collection of apparel with everything from cheeky graphic tees to thick hoodies, tie-dyed sweats and Kawhi Leonard-centric jerseys accompany both shoes as well. The entire Don’t Be Mad x New Balance collection is set to release exclusively at a pop-up in Chicago from February 14-16, and retail prices have yet to be announced. No word on whether or not the kicks will make their way to New Balance’s webstore.
Check out Freshgoods’ 2019 appearance on our Business of HYPE podcast, and for more All-Star Weekend footwear, take a look at an elephant-printed take on the Nike Air Flight ‘89.