Coming off the reveal of its global 1906 campaign, New Balance and JD kicked off its commemorative World Tour last month. With intimate conversations and special performances, the curated event series aims to outline the intersectional culture that the 1906 reflects – calling on those in the campaign to shine a light on the scenes that helped build its revived identity.
Following on from its Sydney and New York dates, the London installment of the 1906 World Tour welcomed acclaimed UK artist and social activist Loyle Carner for a headline showcase. Sharing a taste for British music stylings, he enlisted DJ and presenter Savannah Small as well as Konny Kon from RnB duo Children of Zeus as his DJ support acts for the intimate performance.
Hypebeast headed down to the special event on Thursday afternoon where excitement was beginning to brew under the graffiti-lined railway arches of Waterloo Station. While artists spray painted a dedicated mural to the World Tour, skaters rode through the cobbled alleyway outside the space. Joining them was a limited guestlist of devote Loyle Carner fans and New Balance sneakerheads from across the city who rushed to secure a spot close to the stage.
As attendees made their way into the unassuming venue, they were met with an installation exhibiting the new 1906 JD-exclusive pack with a 360° of visual graphics from the campaign projected onto the walls. A classic hip-hop set from Savannah Small and lo-fi rap beats by Konny Kon warmed the crowd up for the main event.
A recent Mercury Prize nomination for his third album Hugo didn’t stop Loyle Carner looking back and performing a varied tracklist of songs in his performance. Starting with the single “Hate” from the latest release, he went on to crowd favorites “Damselfly” and “Still”, finishing with a heart-felt acapella poem. Alike runner-turned-everyday classic 1906 silhouette, the eclectic performance spoke to the diverse crowd in one way or another.
As the event drew to a close, Carner reflected on the evening, saying, “It was a beautiful intimate show. My old school principal came along. To see his face in the crowd was such a special thing. Sometimes, it’s nice that you never know who’s going to pop up when you step out onto the stage.”
Explore the New Balance 1906 collection by heading to the brand’s website now.