Following the release of two New Balance x Salehe Bembury 2002R colorways, the pair is teaming up again to launch the 574 YURT and, for the first time, accompanying apparel. Grounded in trail running inspiration, the 574 YURT reimagines the classic and archival New Balance model with an outdoor flare.
The now-iconic closet staple 574 is an original trail running model from the ’80s and the upper of the 574 YURT uses that silhouette as its inspiration, along with elements from the Test Run 3.0, 990v3 and archived 755. This new model continues the tradition of open mesh that has become a signature of the Salehe Bembury x New Balance relationship. A stylish but functional trail shoe at its core, the 574 YURT also comes with a first in footwear – a high-pitch whistle on the heel, emphasizing outdoor safety and survival.
A yurt, a round tent covered with skins or felt, is at the center of Bembury’s sneaker and apparel collection, Bembury uses earth tones and bright colors to capture the outdoors in both his designs and colorways.
“You already need many different tools when venturing outdoors,” says Bembury. “The 574 YURT was created so you don’t have to worry about remembering every item, because we’ve merged two into one with a whistle on the sneaker. Weaving this theme into campaign video makes me excited to see how my audience takes this campaign at face value while introducing the 574 YURT and apparel.”
In keeping with the outdoor theme, the line of apparel includes a T-shirt, hoodie, pants and cap featuring Bembury’s signature fingerprint design and a color palette inspired by hiking trails. As an extension of the collection, the campaign video takes viewers through outdoor environments alongside actors Jesse Williams and Algee Smith.
“Safe to say, none of us were whistle experts walking into this,” says Yenny Hsieh, senior technical designer, footwear, New Balance. “But at New Balance, we honor function at every level and the team was committed to finding the right balance between a visually compelling and functionally sound device – key point being that the whistle did need to sound right at the end of the day! Whistle aside, this design involved quite a few technically challenging components. We aimed to combine a historical canvas with unconventional flair, which both helped us introduce legacy tech in a new light while navigating certain manufacturing constraints. That’s the type of work that creatively feeds our soul because we know in the end we're building something truly new for people.”
The 574 YURT shoe and apparel collection will be available on Oct. 22.