Dubbed “9 Box,” New Balance Japan has commissioned three artists to image its classic 1300 silhouette in the form of T-shirt graphics. Each of the three artists is active in the fashion landscape: Hiroshi Watani, who works mostly for magazines as one of Japan’s leading fashion illustrators; Ayumu Ueda, who’s also active in Japanese publications and Shuntaro Takeuchi, who largely merchandises for shop windows. A total of nine T-shirts have been made, each with a unique design that artfully reinterprets the “1300.”
Leading the capsule is Hiroshi Watani’s set of T-shirts. Characterized by pencil-thin outlines and quirky caricatures, Watani’s artwork resembles that of old American illustrations, reflecting the spirit of the retro runners. Images like an older gentleman crossing a bridge, colorful bubble fonts, a child in overalls lacing up 1300s and a light sketch of the shoe are among some of the vibrant motifs that appear in the artist’s works.
In contrast, Ayumu Ueda uses a more digital approach: a low hanging photo of three people in 1300s crossing the road, a baseball cap with an overlapping motif of the shoe and a collage that etches “1300” using only images of the sneaker. Finally, Shuntaro Takeuchi devised a painterly set of images — one where the sneakers hang above a sunset cityscape, one with a racecar driver sitting in the shoe and, lastly, a portrait of a nurse holding the sneaker.
New Balance Japan’s “9 BOX” T-shirt capsule is currently available at New Balance’s website for $49 USD per piece.
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