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New Balance Wraps Up 'Sounds of an Icon' Series With Celebratory Events in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore

New Balance’s Sounds of an Icon series showed love to East Coast cities that have driven culture and the streetwear space for decades. The brand’s renowned 990 model, “the people’s sneaker,” took off after its initial introduction in 1982. But much of the 990s success is owed to the major stylish cities that put it on the map: Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Baltimore.

The Sounds of an Icon series highlighted three multidisciplinary creatives within these impactful cities through digital soundscape experiences, showing their dedication to honoring their cities’ influences. Then, New Balance traveled to each city to welcome local artists, tastemakers, and more into IRL gallery spaces and workshops, bringing these immersive digital experiences to life.

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new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community


new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community
new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community


new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community
new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community


new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community
new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community


new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community
new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community

First, New Balance headed to Philadelphia, teaming up once again with founder and creative director of Yowie, Shannon Maldonado. Maldonado grew up in Philly’s South Street neighborhood, a hub for the arts and fashion. Now, giving back to the community that has shaped her creative outlook, she oversees her own concept space, which also acts as a design studio and a boutique hotel.

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new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community

Maldonado feels a strong tie to the 990 as its distinct style is a perfect match for the bold attitudes of Philadelphians. Expanding upon the sneaker’s influence within the city she calls home, she and New Balance unveiled an open-to-the-public gallery space on January 27th at Huddle Philadelphia. The space included quotes from the local community, Sounds of an Icon campaign shots, audio stories, and photos highlighting the rich history of the city, as well as some of Maldonado’s most meaningful attractions and must-visit spots. Visitors had the chance to add their own notes to the immersive map display as well as participate in a private crocheting workshop with Keke L’Reese, an open-to-the-public zine-making class with Many Fortunes, and a screen printing activation in collaboration with All Caps Studio.

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new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community


new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community
new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community


new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community
new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community


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new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community


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new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community

Spreading the love, New Balance then headed to Washington DC to continue breathing life into the Sounds of an Icon series. Washington DC adopted the 990 and adapted the sneaker in ways that radiated far beyond the Capital City. Dom Adams, creative and co-founder of retail store and coffee shop, Somewhere, grew up in DC and recalls childhood memories of rocking the 990s across all of his favorite spots in the city. New Balance and Adams reconnected to amplify this story and celebrate his community through a gallery showcase and panel discussion on February 17th.

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new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community

Hosted at Chela Mitchell Gallery, the collaborative gallery included intimate shots of the city, an in-depth shoe timeline of the 990, audio stories from locals, and an interactive map highlighting the city’s hidden gems as well as some of Adams’ favorite spots. Furthering the community-first ethos of the project, visitors once again had the opportunity to contribute to the gallery map. The event’s panel discussion, co-hosted by Adams and moderated by Hypebae, opened up a discussion about trends that arose in the DMV, the importance of showcasing DC’s rich creative community, and the rise of the 990 in the region. Panelists included sneaker collector and podcaster Abdul and entrepreneur and arts enthusiast Ian Callender, alongside Dom.

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new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community


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new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community


new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community
new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community


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new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community

Wrapping up the IRL portion of this series, New Balance then made its last stop in Baltimore. The brand reunited with artist and photographer Shan Wallace, who takes pride in being a Baltimore native. Having lived in the city for her whole life, Wallace wants to show others the beauty and power of the city, especially highlighting the many other Baltimore-based creators and artists who have broken barriers within fashion and culture.

For this last activation, Wallace helped New Balance curate another in-person gallery at Nomünomü, a local arts collaborative. Clips from her past projects were showcased, highlighting the unseen bits of Baltimore and its residents. Guests could also collage on top of her work, imparting their own perspective onto the display. A 990 shoe display showed off different versions of the acclaimed model, so visitors could see how it has grown and evolved through the years. Tea was provided by Cuples Tea House, a Black woman-owned boutique tea house, and Wallace also helped oversee a public art and photography workshop, sharing insight into her craft.

new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community
new balance sounds of an icon series philadelphia washington dc baltimore events communty 990 celebratory dom adams ian callender abdul shannon maldonado shan wallace philly yowie sneakers fashion streetwear cities east coast community

To learn more about New Balance’s Sounds of an Icon series and the 990, check out the iterations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

New Balance MADE U.S. footwear contains a domestic value of 70% or more. MADE makes up a limited portion of New Balance’s U.S. sales.