All the Guys Want in on This New Balance Womenswear Collab

·3-min read
Photo credit: New Balance x Staud
Photo credit: New Balance x Staud

You're forgiven for not knowing about Staud. One visit to the LA-based womenswear brand loads up a wardrobe fit for a little Silver Lake condo on the prairie: pastel stripes, ruched waists and the odd pelican graphic. And womenswear is the operative word here. Among those circles, the brand is well known, and well lauded. When asked if she was familiar with the brand, my Harper's Bazaar colleague replied: "yes lmao". Us silly menswear dullards.

That said, Staud's brand cachet has risen among some menswear types of late. Not because they've started to make menswear. But rather because they've started to make sneakers via an ongoing collab with New Balance: a common gateway drug into the ayahuasca hype warren. Ascendant Liberacean marque Casablanca saw its New Balance crossover coronated a sellout grail proper (twice). Yeezy alum and Versace's VP of sneakers Salehe Bembury has thousands on a raffle list for his upcoming New Balance 2002R. So, for its third collab, Staud decided to go fully unisex to capture some of those guys who really don't mind queueing around the block for a good old sneaker.

Photo credit: New Balance x Staud
Photo credit: New Balance x Staud

"We noticed that both men and women purchased our last two collaborative sneakers which proved to us that great sneaker design and unique colour combos are universal," says Sarah Staudinger, founder and creative director of her namesake brand. "As a designer, you have to listen to your customer while staying true to your vision, and great design always comes down to details. We wanted to design something special and unique that represented both brands."

It'll no doubt be Staud's most successful collab with New Balance yet. Part of that can be apportioned to both brands' overflow of prestige. But hype and rep aside, Staudinger is quite right: the collab presents a one-two punch of simple, great trainer design. The quieter of the pair is a refurbed 327, all cool blues and icy greys, whereas the 57/40 is the punchier teammate (and my personal favourite) in bright shades of dentist green and buttercup yellow. It's a light strain of new prep, though: less New York trust fund, and more Calabasas progeny of Hollywood stars turned wellness gurus.

Which is a pretty huge move for summer! The New Balance x Staud sneaker is part of a wider collection of tennis dresses, silky smooth boxer shorts and beaded handbags – all of which firmly sits within the womenswear remit. But as the label moves forward, Staud sees sneakers as a safe route into menswear, and Staudinger is becoming quite the navigator. "I certainly think collabs are the best way forward for us to play in the sneaker market," she says. "New Balance is such a leader in their field, and we're are so lucky to be able to work with them to create these collections and learn from the best."

Guys: form an orderly queue.

Available exclusively from staud.com and newbalance.com today, priced £107 plus shipping

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