Interview with DTLR Sneaker Designer, June Sanders, on His Vision Behind the New Balance Fast Lane
What has your experience been working with New Balance?
My experience working with New Balance over the past several years has been nothing short of amazing. NB is a lifestyle brand that grasps the various stages, feelings, and needs of both passive and active participants of shoe culture. It is this aspect of NB that generates the most buy-in and connectivity for me. As a brand, they are always listening to the pulse of consumers and trusting designers like myself to pitch our concepts for not just the fashion of today but set the pace for the next wave of trends.
How was the 990V5 ‘Fast Lane’ created?
Simply, it was inspired by fun and family. The 990V5 ‘Fast Lane’ is the physical embodiment of a good time. The vibe of bowling is fun, competitive, silly, wholesome, high-stakes – it’s all around inclusive. Whether young or old, novice or professional, strangers or old friends, bowling brings you together. Nothing feels more at home than a bowling alley and my goal was to bring together these nostalgic opposites in a contemporary way. I gave the bowling shoe an elevated design of contrast colors and details so everyone can have a pair of the pastimes distinguishable shoe in their everyday life.
What are the most important things to you when designing a sneaker?
Before I physically start designing a shoe, I take time to think about the concept and develop a story to support that concept. I like to think of fashion as a silent film that needs to convey a message just by seeing it. This step takes the most time because there are so many avenues to choose and explore. The other component that I keep at the top of the list of design elements is the colorway. Colors create emotions and give the imaginary shoe on paper a life of its own where you can see it on someone’s foot with their favorite outfit and favorite people.
When it comes to a sneaker design idea, would you rather remix an older NB silhouette or jump in the fast lane and concept a new NB shoe? And why?
This is a really good question to ask a designer. I could really go either way with the answer to this. I would love to get my hands on my personal favorite NB silhouette, 992 to remix and put my own touches on. However, for the sake of challenging myself, my final answer is I would create a new concept shoe from scratch and see where my concepts, colors choices, and imagination takes me.