New Balance x Size? – Collaboration History

Size? was founded in 2000, and since then, they have become a household name, and have at least one store in every major city you could think of in the UK, along with expanding overseas last year into places such as Amsterdam, Paris, and Milan. With their growth, obviously comes power, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it sees Size? being at the forefront of working with brands to dive into their archives and bring out retros/reissues of your favourite footwear models.

Most people know Size? for the vast amount of footwear, clothing and accessories that they sell in their stores, and on their large online store, however, every now and then, Size? collaborate with brands on all of these things, and in the early 2000’s, they developed a pretty special relationship with the UK’s own division of New Balance.

This post will take a look into the collaboration history between New Balance and Size?, however, the further back we go, to their first lot of collaborations it’s really tough to get good information as there is little to none on the internet, and unless you were around at the time, it’s pretty much impossible to source the information and pictures needed.

Luckily, if you dig hard enough, there are various pictures around, and these rare pairs pop up on social media now and again which is great to see. Also, I know some pretty great people who have vast amounts of knowledge from this time so they were a huge help.

Anyway, in the early 2000’s, this was a time when New Balance collaborations, particularly Made in England pairs, were of a level of quality that will probably never be reached again. There is just such a vast amount of amazing colourways out there that also used some pretty exceptional and unique materials, and this is something that set NB apart from every other brand, and one of the reasons why I take such an interest in the brand.

There’s no better example of the excellent work that the Flimby factory do than these early Size? collaborations, and credit to the people at Size? who came up with the colourways and material selections.

2005 – New Balance x Size? 577

This set of 4 pairs of 577 uses some of the best leather and suede around at the time, and comes in four simple, but yet stunning colourways.

The first is the New Balance 577ASZ, and is probably the rarest of the four now, as it never really gets seen these days. It has a predominantly leather burgundy/maroon upper with grey suede accents, and features perforated leather on the toebox.

New Balance 577ASZ –

577ASZ

Image from NetForest

The second pair from the set is the New Balance 577BSZ, which uses various shades of brown leather and suede, again featuring a perforated toebox.

New Balance 577BSZ –

 

Image from NetForest

Third up is the New Balance 577GSZ, again utilising premium leather on the predominantly green upper, with some clean white perforated leather on the toebox to finish it off.

New Balance 577GSZ –

577gsz

Image from XMode

Last but not least from this set is the New Balance 577SSZ, and is probably one of the pairs that we see the most from this pack. This pair features a mainly light blue upper with some dark blue and off-white coloured accents, and keeping in with the tradition, it has a perforated toebox but also has a gum outsole, which is something the others don’t have.

New Balance 577SSZ –

m577uk_ssz_01

Image from NetForest

2006 – New Balance x Size? 577 ‘coup d’eclat’

New Balance was founded in 1906 as ‘New Balance Arch Support Company’ and when 2006 came around, it was time to celebrate New Balance’s 100 year anniversary. For this celebration it was inevitable that NB were to produce a good few limited edition pairs of shoes, and along with the three limited edition trainers to honour it’s three longest serving employees; Audrey Stewart, Ian Byers and Victor Dixon, there were also to be a run of New Balance x Size? collaborations.

Much like the collaboration in 2005, these are some of the best pairs to ever come from Flimby, and Size? excelled in utilising the black midsole, something which has only been done well very few times.

Below is a picture of the 5 shoes taken from the All Gone 2006 book:

All Gone Book

All Gone Book 2006

Below is a picture of the invitation that was given out for the special instore launch of the New Balance x Size? 577 release in 2006.

1149659430

There were 50 pairs which came with a larger special box which housed the standard Made in England New Balance box, and it is pictured below. They also came with miniature versions of the shoes and box, as well as special t-shirts made for the release and these were only available at the instore event at Size? Carnaby Street.

dsc_0154

Size? and New Balance created a pretty amazing pack named the ‘coup d’eclat’ and it was spread over several months throughout 2006. Each pair from the pack was based around a black and orange midsole, which is why these two colours are so prevalent throughout the uppers on each pair.

Each shoe used a mix of vibrant colours and some of the most premium materials available, including suede, mesh, and camo print leather.

As well as the release dates for the shoes being staggered throughout the year, they also had different quantities, which were all extremely limited.

First Release –

The first release was in June of 2006, and it featured 4 colourways; BGO, BGW, BWB, and PGB.

New Balance 577BGO –

Every shoe in the pack stands out on it’s own, but the New Balance 577BGO is particularly great because of the camo leather on the upper, and this pair was limited to 120 pairs.

577BGO_1

Image from Skit Blog

New Balance 577BGW –

The New Balance 577BGW was meant to be limited to 90 pairs, and was designed by Matt Taylor, but the story goes that when they visited the Flimby factory, they chose some colours that were near the end of their rolls, so fewer pairs were made than planned.

577BGW - ran out of materials (90 something pairs) - Matt Taylor

Image from Kicksaholic

New Balance 577BWB –

Thirdly, the New Balance 577BWB seen a release limited to only 70 pairs, and was the second most limited out of both drops.

577BWB

Image from Kicksaholic

New Balance 577PGB –

Last but not least from the first drop, the New Balance 577PGB designed by John Brotherhood was the most limited of all the drops in 2006 as it was limited to only 60 pairs.

577PGB - John Brotherhood

Image from Kicksaholic

Second Release –

Following on from the first drop, the second drop featuring two pairs of 577 was released in November, and both these pairs were limited to 75 pairs each.

New Balance 577WGO –

nb2

Image from Kicksaholic

New Balance 577GOW –

nb5

Image from Kicksaholic

2007 – New Balance x Size? 577 ‘Fruity Clerks Pack’

Back again with more 577’s, one of the most iconic UK Made models, and this time, this pack features some very fruity designs, with an array of pinks, purples and cyan teamed with a splattered midsole.  The shoes feature faux reptile skin on the upper, teamed with lush suede and perforated suede or perforated leather on the toebox.

The shoes were designed with old school fruit machines in mind, think one-arm bandits, bright flashing lights and 3 fruit jackpots of Plums, Strawberries and Bells. The colour scheme is no gamble (excuse the pun), and it was styled by one of the Size? crew from the Birmingham store.

Both colourways were limited to 250 pairs, and there were also matching New Era caps for both colorways, which were only available instore. The shoes also came with matching keyrings, check them out in the pictures below.

nb_size_clerks_1

New Balance 577WBP –

nb_size_clerks_6

rtemagicc_nb_size_clerks_2 (1)

New Balance 577WGP –

nb_size_clerks_7

nb_size_clerks_5 (1)

Images from Kicksaholic

That wasn’t all though, along with the release of the ‘Fruity Clerks Pack’ came another shoe, and probably the most elusive of all Size? collaborations, and maybe even New Balance UK collaborations – the ‘Jackpot’ 577.

The ‘Jackpot’ 577 were made exclusively for a competition and limited to only 4 pairs. Along with the ‘Jackpot’ 577, the first prize winner will take home one of the 2 New Balance Fruit Machines that were installed in Size? Carnaby Street and Covent Garden Stores at the time of release, and the second prize will win a pair of the Jackpot 577 shoes.

NBJackpotSize4

NBJackpotSize2

NBJackpotSize3

Images via Highsnobiety

2010 – New Balance x Size? 577 ‘Estates Pack’

The New Balance x Size? 577 ‘Estates Pack’ was brought out in 2010 to celebrate the stores 10 years anniversary, and the pack draws inspiration from the gradual transition of practical rural fashion into a modern trend in the city.

The first pair from the pack is the New Balance 577LQ –

577LQ

This shoe pays tribute to the modern city gents adaptation of traditional rural wear with a premium black leather and suede upper, mixed together with a woven quilter toebox and heel support.

The second pair from the pack is the New Balance 577CW –

577CW

Images from Nice Kicks

This pairs comes in a mix of dark green, brown with popping orange accents in a leather and mesh upper, and the shoe is inspired by rural British fashion worn by city dwellers.

Both pairs are sat on a clean white traditional ENCAP midsole, and have a gum outsole. They also have a woven brand tab sewn onto the tongue and it transforms the style number into roman numerals (DLXXVII = 577) with ‘shoe maketh the man’ in Latin underneath the crest. As always, a shoe isn’t really complete without a little bit of 3M, and this comes in the form of the N backer for both pairs. Limited to 250 pairs each.


2012 – New Balance x Staple Design x Size? 577 ‘Black Pigeon’

Staple Design aren’t new to collaborating with New Balance, and neither are Size?, so when these two came together, we expected something special, but we’re not exactly sure that these shoes lived up to that expectation.

Nevertheless, both Size? and Staple Design reworked a 577, a model which Size? have became so well known for collaborating on. This Made in England 577 came in a year that was celebrating 30 years of manufacturing at Flimby, and as always, this shoe features only the most premium of materials.

With the ‘Black Pigeon’ toughened up on his travels, the shoe features a heavy-duty construction with a honeycombed rip stop nylon toe-box and robust leather upper. Not forgetting the creature comforts, a soft pink felt lines the inner and adds extra warmth.
Staple-x-New-Balance-x-size-577-Black-Pigeon-4
Image from Proper Mag

2014 – New Balance x Size? Made in USA 574 ‘Harrods Exclusive’
Over the last few years, it probably felt like there was a Size? store popping up in every UK city, and even expanding abroad into other countries, a true testament to the size at which the retailer has grown. So, on that note, to mark the occasion of Size? opening their first pop-up in the world famous Harrods department store, they once again teamed up with New Balance, but this time, they created two Made in USA 574’s.
The pack was inspired by Harrods’ colourful food hall, and we see two bright colourways of the premium suede and mesh US574’s. One of which has a Miami Dolphins-esque colourway of teal and orange, with hits of pink and grey, while the other has the inverse – grey and pink, with orange and teal accents.
Both colorways will only be available in a run of just 12 pairs each, making these some of the most exclusive New Balance collaborations yet. However, it was possible to create extremely similar colourways via the NB USA custom site if you happened to miss out and desired a pair of 574’s in either of these colourways.
size-x-new-balance-made-in-usa-574-harrods-exclusive-pack-1
Image from Hypebeast
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2 thoughts on “New Balance x Size? – Collaboration History”

  1. What a well written and informative read. You rarely see such detailed articles on any trainer blogs/ websites. Appreciate the work!
    Nick.

    1. Thanks for the kind words man. It’s impossible to find all this info in one place, so I just like to bring it all together for those who may be interested. + I enjoy the digging and researching, and always good to refresh my memory. 🙂

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