In the age of the dad shoe — and at times, near-orthopedic shoe — the fashion world has embraced heritage-based sneakers, particularly those at New Balance. Collaborations with Aimé Leon Dore, BAPE, and even Prada have introduced the classic sneaker brand to a new demographic, and NB’s latest collaboration with Ganni only leans further into indie trends.
For the Danish fashion label’s first partnership with New Balance, the two brands have revamped the 2002R sneaker, a favorite among self-proclaimed Ganni girls — otherwise known as those who enjoy both edgy style and carefree comfort. The shoe’s campaign, shot by photographer Rosie Marks, features models posing in Copenhagen while sporting the chunky, whimsical 2002R.
Time to shine — The 2002R has benefited greatly from high-profile collaborations and increasing demand for chunky sneakers. Its “Protection Pack” and Salehe Bembury “Let Water Be Your Guide” makeovers helped transition the shoe from a dad staple to a streetwear favorite, while a change in production location helped drive down the cost.
While last year’s collaborations highlighted New Balance’s 991 and 550 models, this year could bring more hype to the 2002R. With Ganni involved, you can expect these sneakers to dominate Instagram, TikTok, and SoHo, probably paired with statement patterns like cheetah print and plaids.
“The New Balance 2002R style really fits into the Copenhagen way of dressing — we’re always cycling and running somewhere,” said Ditte Reffstrup, Creative Director of Ganni, in a statement. “This shoe is the perfect mix of function and fashion. It’s a huge honor to put a Ganni spin on such an iconic New Balance shoe and we are super excited to be able to create it with so much innovation and recycled materials.”
Be a Ganni girl — Two pairs of the 2002R are expected from Ganni and New Balance, with each sneaker inspired by the early ‘00s. Ganni-logo print panels, exclusively designed for the collaboration, call back to Y2K logomania with an emphasis on green and gray tones. On one pair, the mesh underlays of the sneaker take on a green shade, while the other contrasts its gray panels with a rainbow gradient lining. With vivid pops of color and a chunky build, each sneaker combines New Balance’s athletic heritage with the Ganni girl aesthetic.
The collaboration meets the New Balance green leaf standard, meaning at least 50 percent or more of the upper materials are recycled. Both shoes feature 80-percent recycled synthetic overlays, 100-percent recycled mesh, 30-percent recycled laces, and 5-percent recycled rubber outsoles.
Both color schemes of the Ganni x New Balance 2002R sneakers will launch April 13, with pairs available at the Ganni and New Balance websites. Select Ganni and New Balance stores will also have stock available worldwide. Each sneaker is expected to retail for $150, although resale prices for previous 2002R models just about triple that number. If you miss out on the initial release, know you’ll literally pay for that mistake.