As 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of collaboration history with New Balance and hanon shop, it seemed like a fitting idea to start from the very first collaboration and work through to the present. The timing of this article also ties in perfectly with the upcoming New Balance CT300 collaboration which releases on the 27th of June 2014.
Being from Aberdeen myself, hanon shop is my local store, so their past, present, and future work has always been a keen interest of mine, which is why I've put this article together and hopefully been able to round up the 10 year journey and add in some little extra bits or content that people may not have heard or seen before.
So, in the beginning, 2004, there was three, or was it really two -
New Balance 576RWY/BWY/GWY
The first ever hanon shop x New Balance SMU (Special Make Up) was originally designed and released in 2004, with each pair limited to 196 pairs, but has also seen a vault release a few years later in 2007 along with some strange stories of some of these pairs popping up in outlets, and other places, but we'll get to that later.
Anyway, the hanon shop team reworked one of their favourite New Balance models, the classic 576, and they designed the upper with a mix of suede, full grain leather, air flow mesh, contrasting white saddle, and that traditional and noticeably familiar gold 'N'.
The first two pairs released for this collaboration were the 576RWY (red) and the 576BWY (blue), with the 576GWY (lime green) coming a little later as a third colourway to the original two. There's been many rumours surrounding the green colourway but here's a quote taken from a Highsnobiety article around that time - "Initially 3 colourways were designed but due to some difficulty meeting factory minimums, one unfortunately had to go. Reluctantly the green was dropped and only the navy and red were manufactured. However New Balance Japan liked the style so much they took up the production of the green colourway and the shoe was released as a special edition in the Far East. Upon its launch, sneaker heads across the globe quickly picked up on the 3rd model, and although never an official hanon release – was out there. The secret colourway!"
So in 2007, hanon shop announced a release called 'The Vault', which included left over pairs and a short run of the green model from the allocated release, meaning that all three were essentially released as a pack, albeit three years later.
New Balance 576RWY -
Picture from Rakuten.
Still to this day, there are pairs of women's 576 in the colourway above popping up around eBay, but hanon never ordered or sold a women's version.
New Balance 576BWY -
Picture from Rakuten.
New Balance 576GWY -
Picture from Discuss.
New Balance 576HBA
The New Balance 576HBA was one of hanon shop's first collaborations with New Balance, and many rank it extremely highly although it is probably not as well known as some of the others.
The shoe features a predominantly black leather upper, with royal blue mesh underlays, black suede heel tab, gold 'N' with 3M backer, all sat on a slightly grey C-cap midsole.
They were released on October 28th 2005, limited to only 198 pairs and came with a certificate of authenticity, with a retail price of £69.95.
New Balance 990HBW
A year on from hanon's first collaboration with New Balance, they were back again, but this time with a silhouette which debuted in 1998, but one which many may not have been familiar - the 990.
The New Balance 990HBW was designed with a colourway unique to the shop, and featured a clean suede and mesh upper, with trademark gold 'N' which was popular on the early collaborations.
They were released on November 22nd 2005, limited to only 198 pairs and each came with a certificate of authenticity.
New Balance Northern Sole Series
Both the New Balance 576 and the 577 hold special places in the hearts of lovers of the brand, as well as the brands archives itself, so when someone collaborates on that model, there's always a huge amount of expectation in the air for them to be great. In 2006, hanon Shop and New Balance worked on two 576's and two 577's to create the Northern Sole Series, which would pay homage to and refer loosely to some of the guys at hanon's favourite Northern Soul patches that had been collected by the Soul boys from the clubs they visited. Hanon's Northern theme is also a tribute to the massive influence that the Northwest of Britain has had within trainer culture generally, a legacy that spread from the 1970s football terraces to the Madchester era of The Hacienda and on to the present day.
The uppers of each shoe consists of a mix of premium suede, leather and nubuck, with parallel perf details and finished with plush pigskin lining, and of course the 577's are sat on Encap sole unit, while the 576's on a C-cap sole unit. These 4 shoes really show what Flimby was capable of in terms of materials, shape, quality and construction.
Part one of the New Balance x Hanon Shop Northern Sole Series collaboration will be coming on April 2006. Included in this collaboration will be the Chosen Few M576CHF and the Wigan M577WIC.
Pictures from Headphonaught.
Part two of the New Balance x Hanon Shop Northern Sole Series collaboration will be coming on May 2nd, 2006. Included in this sequel collaboration will be two beautiful sneakers, the Soul City M576SOC and the Night Owl M577NIO.
Pictures from Only Sneakers.
Each pair from the hanon Northern Sole series was limited to 120 pairs per style, and came with a badge and hand numbered post card set featuring photography by Brian Sweeney.
Here's a nice image of the invitation for the Preview Evening for the Northern Sole Series -
Picture from Exclusives.
New Balance 990HSN x Schoeller x Hanon Shop
The New Balance 990HSN x hanon shop x Schoeller is probably my personal favourite of all Hanon Shop's collaborations with New Balance spanning their 10 year history working together.
This shoe was to be the second 990 collaboration between hanon shop and New Balance, following the New Balance 990HBW which was released a couple of years prior. As always, another impressive make-up, and a perfect shoe for the Scottish weather. Through the use of Schoeller technology, a Swiss based company known for producing high technology textiles, this would provide the shoe with a highly functional and technically outstanding upper. The Schoeller 3XDRY provides moisture management, stimulates a cooling effect, and repels water and stains, so essentially it keeps your feet dry, allows them to breathe and you can wear them in the rain with no worries!
Moving away from the Schoeller technology, the rest of the upper features full grain leather and nubuck overlays, pigskin leather footbeds, 3M N underlay, safety orange lining and the 'USA' on the heel is replaced with '990'.
The shoes were released on April 28th 2007 at hanon shop, limited to 144 pairs only at £89.95, and each came with a Hanon authetication certificate, and two lace sets - black, and orange.
All pictures from hanon shop.
New Balance x Hanon Flying Club - 670 Squadron
Four years on from their first collaboration together, and they were back with a bang, as their newest collaboration named The Flying Club was to be launched in August 2008. This pack, the '670 Squadron' featured two New Balance 670's, an archive running shoe from Flimby's vast catalogue.
However, these shoes were to be made with a twist! Not only did hanon shop team up with New Balance, but they also teamed up with Ventile, who are a British company renowned for the production of their superior 100% cotton all weather material.
The guys at hanon shop found the origin and application of the fabric fascinating and felt that it would be a perfect choice to be used on a archive running shoe. The smart-fabric material handles like a quality chino or a M-65 military jacket and has a dense weave that when in contact with water expands to produce a virtually weatherproof membrane.
It's almost a thing of the past for brands to be producing shoes in such low minimums, but this meant that they could be produced to outstanding build quality, and also high quality materials like Ventile were able to be used on the shoes without the cost being largely affected.
The Flying Club draws it's inspiration from the simple aesthetic of the 1970's and 1980's styles and succeeded in reintroducing some old school touches which reflect and compliment the heritage of Ventile. The shoes were constructed in the Flimby factory and feature 100% cotton Ventile premium underlays, bounded and unbagged vintage mesh tongue, bespoke tongue label, single piece N, and unbranded back tab. They also have suede pigskin overlays and Wolverine Leathers for the areas which are not covered with Ventile fabric. The particularly 'worn look' on the shoes is great, with the retro slightly thicker cotton New Balance laces, and the aged midsole.
Here's a nice little interview with Sneaker Freaker and Ed Toft of hanon shop. - Hanon Flying Club Interview.
One half of the 670 Squadron, the New Balance 670GKY 'Tornado' featured a predominantly grey upper with yellow 'N'.
The second half of the 670 Squadron, the New Balance 670BRY 'Spitfire', which features a predominantly black and red upper, but also with a yellow 'N'.
Each shoe was limited to 150 pairs, and released in September 6th 2008 with a retail price of £74.95.
All pictures taken from hanon shop.
The Bionic Project - 576 Majors
Above are some old school videos from the time when the Bionic Project was about to release, and they're well worth a watch if you like to see inside the Flimby factory and check out some of the processes for making the shoes.
The Bionic Project with New Balance was the 7th collaboration with hanon shop, and much like the hanon Flying Club pack where Ventile fabric was used, this project features another fabric - Eschler fabric Ceramic E3+.
There was to be two shoes, named 'Majors' 576BMD and 'Austin' 576SMD. The 'Majors' pair had a colourway of white, grey and blue, while the 'Austin' pair had a colourway of grey and yellow. The Bionic theme focuses on the concepts of hybridisation, synergy and advanced fabric technology.
In terms of hybridisation, synergy and advanced fabric technology, the Bionic shoes feature a 576 upper with a combination premium leather and suede by Wolverine, and Eschler ceramic disc printed underlays and a 3M N logo and heel panel. This upper is then mounted on a 670 footbed and finished off with a bound tongue with a custom Bionic woven label, and full airflow mesh lining.
Pictures from hanon shop.
Each shoe came with 3 lace sets, including a round flecked hiking style lace, which reflects the distinctive disc pattern of the Eschler fabric. The shoes teaser videos released in December 2009, but the shoes eventually went on sale in March 2010 and had a retail price of £79.96.
New Balance 1500UKG - Limited Edition Box
In a way, this pair was, and it wasn't a collaboration with hanon shop, either way, it can't be ignored for the purpose of this article. The UKG is Flimby made 1500 and an anniversary colourway that has featured numerous times over the course of NB history.
Basically, the 1500UKG would be available in a limited edition 1 of 50 beautifully crafted screen-printed wooden box, which could be purchased only at hanon shop on the 23rd of October 2010.
All pictures from hanon shop.
Much like the New Balance 1500UKG and the special boxed edition exclusive to hanon which released the year previous, in 2011, the stunning New Balance 1500SGB was released along with a special collector's edition box.
This shoe is a Flimby made 1500 with all leather and mesh uppers, and came in a gun metal grey and black colourway.
The 1500UKG was available in a limited edition 1 of 100 beautifully crafted screen-printed wooden box, which could be purchased only at hanon shop in A/W of 2011.
All pictures from hanon shop.
New Balance 1500CHF x Hanon Shop 'Chosen Few'
In recent times, there hasn't been much in the way of New Balance collaborations with any of the 'big hitting' European stores, or the original stores which New Balance collaborated with many years ago, however, 2012 marked a change from the norm. The Chosen Few 1500 was massively anticipated, and is still widely regarded as the best Flimby made release in the last 3/4 years, and it's no surprise really, considering this seems to be the only shoe that made it out of Flimby with the original 1500 shape, and not the new and apparently 'more structured' version that is produced today.
Hanon had made a name for themselves with their ability to never fail to deliver a great collab, and this one was no different. For this one, they reworked the 1500 running shoe, which was an original 1989 release and is widely regarded as a staple piece in the New Balance model archive. The shoe features an a mix of premium navy and grey suede overlays from Wolverine USA, as well as archive mesh underlays and synthetic fabrics. The upper is constructed with a pig suede saddle, bovine heel and tip overlays, which are offset by a teal green mesh apron, cobalt blue felted collar and tongue backer, and then finished off with a single needle white embroidered 'N' logo.
The shoe was set to come with 3 lace sets in grey, navy, and white, along with 3 vinyl stickers, and a dust bag. Also, for the first few lucky instore customers on Friday 31st of August 2012, they would receive a special wooden box limited to only 50 pieces, and a NB Flimby polo-shirt limited to 10 pieces.
All pictures taken from hanon shop.
Limited Edition Tote Bag
Picture taken from hanon shop.
So we've had shoes, we've had boxes, what about tote bags? During a little bit of a collaboration drought with hanon and New Balance, they switched it up and dropped two limited edition tote bags (200 pieces each), which available for free when a 'Made in England' New Balance was purchased.
The tote bags were canvas, silk screened and available in two of New Balance's most iconic colourways - grey/blue, and blue/grey. They pay homage to hanon's collaborative history with New Balance and the Flimby factory, with one side featuring Hanon's traditional flame logo, and the other featuring the New Balance logo, along with the text referencing some memories since their first collaboration in 2004.
However, if you are like me, then you may have examined the tote bags closely and noticed some references that never really made sense, well, at least in terms of shoes that were released. For example, the text 'The Trout', 'M670HUR' and 'Hurricane' were printed on the bags, but I may be able to make sense of a couple of those. The 670HUR and Hurricane may in fact be the same shoe, and it might have been a third pair sample to the 670 Squadron - Flying Club Pack from 2008 which featured two shoes, the Tornado and Spitfire.
Finally, present day, 2014 -
New Balance CT300PHA x Hanon Shop 'Phoenix'
2014 marks the 10th anniversary of hanon shop's collaboration history with New Balance, and in celebration, they take a step away from their usual running models to work on one of New Balance's first tennis shoes. They teamed up with 3 more of New Balance's earliest partners, Sneakersnstuff, Firmament, and 24 Kilates to produce a special edition of the Court 300 tennis shoe.
The CT300 was first released in 1979, and features an extremely lightweight upper, which consists of closed mesh and suede overlays. It is also built with superior cushioning and the unique sole unit of polyurethane and encapsulated gum rubber provides great durability.
Much like 2006 and 2012, hanon have revisited the Northern Sole theme that has proved to be so successful for them, and they've drawn inspiration from the bright colours of patches and album covers associated with the Northern Soul music scene. The shoe has been named the 'Phoenix' and the colourway is a mixture of rich purple, soft grey, and blue pig suede, which is then all offset with closed mesh in dark marine.
These will be available instore at hanon shop on the 27th of June from 10am, and available online at 2pm with a RRP of £105. They also come with two sets of laces, a silk screened dust bag and vinyl sticker set, which can be seen in the below picture.
All pictures taken from hanon shop.
That brings us up to the present day and ends our journey through the hanon shop collaborations with New Balance from 2004 to 2014.
hanon shop have been known for many years now for their ability to consistently produce excellent collaborations, and the above content proves just that, so a big shout out to everyone at hanon, and hopefully there will be many more collabs in the future.
HANON KEEPS ON BURNING.