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New Balance teams up with Unmade for customisable knitted shoe

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Sportswear brand New Balance has teamed up with fashion software company Unmade to launch the customisable knitted trainer, the Unmade x New Balance 111 Knit.

Combining Unmade’s technology with New Balance’s manufacturing heritage, the NB1 111 will be available on New Balance’s customisation platform and will be offered in six colourways and three patterns, which consumers will be able to manipulate to create their own knitted shoe upper with a choice of graphics, colour and text, to create an entirely bespoke product.

The customisation experience is fully supported by Unmade’s visualisation system, which delivers photographic renders of the customer’s unique design before it has ever been made. It then connects to the New Balance supply chain with Unmade’s patented algorithms that automatically turn unique designs into production-ready data, marking the first time this has been possible to the millimetre accuracy necessary for footwear production, added Unmade.

The consumer experience can be curated and art-directed to the brand’s specifications and may include mannequin shots, modelled studio shots and lifestyle imagery, giving the customer a completely unique experience.

Unmade chief executive, Hal Watts said in a statement: “At Unmade, developing partnerships with dynamic brands who have a genuine desire to be demand-driven and customer-centric to reimagine the fashion experience is absolutely fundamental to what we do.

“The fashion supply chain is broken, disconnected and needs to change - we know it and our global customers know it too. Connecting demand directly to supply and taking the guesswork out of fashion production is the only way to evolve, and we love working with brands who grasp the importance and urgency of these changes.”

Katherine Petrecca, general manager footwear, New Balance added: “Our relationship with Unmade is helping us move our customisation offering to the next level. The data that Unmade's platform gives us has really pushed the limits of what is possible in our manufacturing and fulfilment processes and inspired innovation right across our domestic operations. Without Unmade’s technology, it would have been technically impossible to launch.

"At New Balance, we're always looking for new ways to create truly exciting customer experiences and the launch of the NB1 111 silhouette helps us get closer to our customers, and further the ingenuity and prestige of our brand."

Images: courtesy of New Balance/Unmade

New Balance