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Insight: The rebirth of New Balance

The world of fashion is certainly volatile.

And so the same goes for sneakers. Of course, trends can swing from side to side too, and in recent years New Balance has reemerged as the queen of casual trainers. But how did the Boston-based label manage to turn the tide after decades spent in the shadow of the Nike/Adidas duopoly? The reasons are multiple.

The age of the internet is also the age of internet celebrity and in recent times New Balance has reinvented itself as the shoe brand of choice for movie stars, athletes and supermodels. Not just any movie stars, athletes, and supermodels, but the biggest, most hype names out there right now. Hollywood golden boy Timothée Chalamet regularly opts for Jaden Smith-designed Vision Racers, Tom Holland's 237 and Zoë Kravitz's 990 . Kaia Gerber and Rihanna are also among the most loyal fans of the brand. Leonardo DiCaprio was also spotted earlier this year with a pair of 547s.

The point is, the power of influencers is tangible. If the likes of Chalamet and Holland – whose public attire is photographed and scrutinized – prefer New Balance sneakers to others, they do it for a reason. And this reason is therefore also good enough for all the others.

Interestingly, these sneakers are not particularly expensive. The 574, for example, the same pair worn by Mr. DiCaprio, are sold at a retail price of around 90 euros and on the secondary market for 2-300 euros. The ultra-popular NB 550s hover in the same price line. Giving yourself a semblance of Leonardo DiCaprio for the price of a good night out can only be described as good value.

The second reason New Balance has moved up the rungs of popular style is the brand's diverse — and long — roster of collaborators. Levi's, Aimé Leon Dore , Aries and Stone Island all count among the names that have (or will have) collaborated with the shoemaker on sought-after collections of late.

So in the end, New Balance is back to fashion exactly how you imagine it: enlisting the help of A-list celebrities and enlisting a long list of both established and emerging brands to promote its vision in the shape of a sneaker. But is not so. Instead, those celebrities and brands have come to New Balance, not the other way around. DiCaprio followed Holland who followed Chalamet who followed Jaden and so on. Aimé Leon Dore wanted what they were getting Levi's had what Casablanca already had. Clear? This is fashion. One domino falls, the rest follows.
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