Junya Watanabe and New Balance Elevate the BB480

A classic low-top that debuted all the way back in 1983 returns with a high-end twist.

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Junya Watanabe‘s collaboration-centric eYe imprint has teamed up with New Balance to elevate the BB480. A court sneaker that first released in 1983, the BB480 was seen in 2020 as part of a Jolly Rancher x Kawhi Leonard pack, and has since been rolling out in understated low and high-cut iterations. Now, with the involvement of Junya Watanabe, the no-frills silhouette is looking to get an infusion of lifestyle flair, much in the way the 550 did in 2020 at the hands of Aimé Leon Dore.

Watanabe keeps things minimal on the co-created design, mixing a white leather quarter, heel and mudguard with a black leather toebox, collar and midfoot N logo, the last of which is rimmed with silver trim. More bold black branding is present on the white nylon tongue’s fabric tag, with final touches of graphic-centric flair served up via the eYe hits on the heel tab and insole. White midsoles and black outsoles round off the look. This BB480 spotlights the Japanese designer’s propensity to work on under-the-radar silhouettes — in 2020, he crafted a similarly sleek Numeric 379.

The eYe Junya Watanabe x New Balance BB480 is set to release in Japan at select Junya Watanabe stockists and COMME des GARÇONS stores on March 19. Its MSRP is set at ¥24,000 JPY (approximately $220 USD), exclusive of tax.

For more collaborative NB news, check out Dao Yi-Chow’s “WE NEED LEADERS” footwear and apparel collection, centered around the 327 and FuelCell RC Elite.

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