Since its founding in 1999, Sneakersnstuff (SNS) has become a leader in global sneaker culture — but it may not have reached that status without New Balance, which played a pivotal role in building the Stockholm company’s reputation. The duo’s first collaboration, which only took 10 minutes to create, according to SNS, helped the retailer make a name for itself, a milestone SNS is celebrating with another New Balance collaboration.
The new designs come nearly two decades after SNS’s initial partnership, a New Balance 577 two-pack that sold out even faster than its rapid design time. The inaugural collaboration — pitched during a fleeting meeting at New Balance’s famed Flimby, U.K. factory — featured a sneaker designed by each SNS co-founder, with Peter Jansson opting for a gray and black version of the model and Erik Fagerlind crafting a blue and yellow sneaker inspired by the Swedish and Canary Islands flags. Ninety-six pairs of each color scheme were made, although Erik’s 577 was altered during production, making its blue color more mint — a fault now corrected through SNS’s next collaboration.
The actual original — Both iconic palettes have been revived by New Balance, albeit on the 991 sneaker. There’s little change to Peter’s chosen black and gray color scheme, which sees a white perforated toe box accented by a black suede center and gray suede heel. A chunky gray and white sole unit, a staple of the 991 sneaker, rounds out the retro kicks.
Erik’s pair, on the other hand, has been altered to reflect his original design. A cerulean blue replaces the original counterpart’s mint green color, appearing at the toe, heel, and ankle in leather and suede. Yellow leather overlays cover a white base, with the shade also hitting the heel and tongue branding.
Tens across the board — To further commemorate New Balance’s Flimby factory, the campaign for the 991 sneakers highlights the small English town for things other than sneaker manufacturing. Showcasing 10-minute activities to do in Flimby — nodding to Peter and Erik’s metamorphic 10 minute meeting with New Balance — members of the town feed llamas, metal-detect, eat fish and chips, and visit their nans all while in SNS’s 991 sneakers. There may be limited activities within the town, which houses an estimated 1,700 residents as of 2020, but “there’s more to Flimby than making sneakers,” reads a still from the campaign.
Regardless, people will be on the lookout for SNS and New Balance’s 991 collaboration, especially considering the history between the two companies. The two pairs will debut on February 26 at SNS stores and online with a retail price of $259 — still, they’re guaranteed to sell out in under 10 minutes.