Release Date: October 22
Editor’s Notes: New Balance Japan brought out the big guns for what may be the last big 327 drop of 2021: it enlisted eight other brands to put their heads together and create four different womens’ iterations of the 327. Each partnership enlisted a fashion brand and a some kind of retailer, yielding some very distinct takes on the timeless runner.
The first style, a classy black leather and suede number fitted with an extra-tall tongue, was conceived by UNITED ARROWS and minimalist militaria brand THE RERACS.
It’s a fitting shoe for THE RERACS, which only occasionally adds pattern or print to its loose, mostly monochrome clothing. UNITED ARROWS’ output is less specific — it sells some out-there stuff sometimes — but this new 327 has all the subtlety of its other recent collaborative sneakers.
Like some of emmi’s other bespoke sneakers, its 327 employs beige and yellow tinges to achieve a kind of bright earth tone. The translucent patterned outsole is a bonus.
atmos pink, atmos’ womenswear sub-label, brings in X-Girl for a pale cheetah-patterned 327, broken up only by a tonal medial wall.
X-Girl was founded by Kim Gordon and X-Large employee Daisy von Furth in 1994. It was acquired by Japanese conglomerate B’s Intl. in 1999, which still operates X-Girl, X-Large, and other ’90s-era streetwear brands — including Sofia Coppola’s Milkfed — to this day.
Finally, BEAMS BOY invited Buzz Rickson’s to oversee the last New Balance 327’s design and the result is pretty par for the course for Buzz.
This is to say that it’s kind of amazing: Cordura and suede panels inform the upper, which has its “N” logo peeled away to create a super streamlined look. A co-branded dog tag reiterates the repro inspiration.
That the two have reunited yet again for a vintage-inspired trainer is hardly a surprise. It’s one of my favorite styles from the set and demonstrates the breadth of New Balance’s collaborations, which were amazing last year and still kinda ruled this year.
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