Just as the dust appeared to settle around Joe Freshgoods’s successful “Conversations Among Us” collaboration with New Balance, the duo has unveiled another chapter. Using Kawhi Leonard’s latest signature sneaker as a canvas, the buttery interpretation is hitting the hardwood.
Joe and the Klaw — Freshgoods and Leonard lit a match on their partnership when the NBA athlete starred in the designer’s campaign visuals — wearing the Kawhi 2, of course. In the short film titled “Nod,” Freshgoods and Leonard silently communicate with each other to discuss the dynamics of Black men, non-verbal communication, and the nonchalant head nod.
“I wanted to touch on that, it’s always been funny to me. hope people understand the video but if you don’t- who cares lol, it’s for my people anyway,” Joe Freshgoods said on Twitter.
Let’s talk about it — The Chicago native ensures that the performance basketball sneaker is given a heavy dose of style. Similar to the previous 2002R and 550 sneakers, the Kawhi 2 appears in a color scheme of various yellows and creams. Leonard’s signature shoes haven’t yet seen such a muted treatment yet, as past renditions included an R.L Stine’s Goosebumps collaboration and money motifs.
The tongue is branded with “Joe and Kawhi (c. 2022)” and “A New Day” text, along with the campaign’s “Conversations Among Us” logo on the insoles. Details are rounded out with a rigged outsole in a dark mustard color, a cracked heel cap, and a “2” and “II” on each of the heels.
Because it's a performance shoe, the Kawhi 2 features a Fit Weave Lite upper fitted with New Balance’s Kinetic Stitch technology to boost flexibility and zonal strength. A FuelCell midsole provides high energy return, while a full-length performance plate designed specifically for Leonard grants the wearer added stability for jumps and cuts.
Streetwear retailer DTLR saw a pre-release of the sneakers earlier this week, but don’t fret if you missed out. A wider drop is set to hit New Balance and select retailers within the next few weeks. Falling in line with other Kawhi IIs, the kicks are set at a price of $160. With Joe Freshgoods amping up his collaborative efforts with New Balance — and sneakerheads eager to snag a pair — this is just the beginning of the designer’s legacy.