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New Balance and Unmade launch customisable knitted shoe

Leading fashion software company Unmade has revealed a new endeavour with top fashion and sportswear brand New Balance.

30th October 2019

Knitting Industry
 |  London

Sports/​Activewear, Knitted Accessories

Unmade x New Balance 111 Knit. © Unmade

Leading fashion software company Unmade has revealed a new endeavour with top fashion and sportswear brand New Balance, bringing together its powerful fashion technology platform and New Balance’s manufacturing heritage for the launch of the customisable knitted shoe.

New Balance and Unmade have come together to combine manufacturing heritage with digital technology to create a new customisation experience for consumers, allowing them to create their own knitted shoe upper with a choice of graphics, colour and text, creating an entirely bespoke product. Available on the New Balance customisation platform, NB1, the Unmade x New Balance 111 Knit will be offered in six colourways and three patterns to manipulate.

The customer experience is fully supported by Unmade’s visualisation system, which delivers photographic renders of the customer’s unique design before it has ever been made.

Fully connected

The customisation and design process is fully connected to the New Balance supply chain thanks to Unmade’s patented algorithms that automatically turn unique designs into production ready data. This is the first time this has been possible to the millimetre accuracy necessary for footwear production.

The consumer experience can be curated and art-directed to the brand’s specifications and may include mannequin shots, modelled studio shots and lifestyle imagery, giving the customer a completely unique experience.

The collaboration marks an exciting venture between New Balance, an established brand with over 100 years of manufacturing and design prestige with rapidly-scaling tech company Unmade, bringing new digital competencies to a powerful global brand.

The move also marks New Balance’s commitment to innovating the domestic manufacturing process, to becoming more sustainable and efficient throughout the value chain and reacting quickly based on actual consumer demand.

Swift response

Unmade’s award-winning platform empowers global fashion and sportswear brands to swiftly respond to real-time trends, reduce waste and get closer to their customers, to develop agile supply chains, driven by real-time demand, instead of forecasting.

“At Unmade, developing partnerships with dynamic brands who have a genuine desire to be demand driven and customer centric to reimagine the fashion experience is absolutely fundamental to what we do,” commented Hal Watts, Unmade CEO. “The fashion supply chain is broken, disconnected and needs to change - we know it and our global customers know it too. Connecting demand directly to supply and taking the guesswork out of fashion production is the only way to evolve, and we love working with brands who grasp the importance and urgency of these changes.

“Working with the New Balance team has been a defining moment in the Unmade story, and we are very excited to be working to create an unrivalled experience for New Balance customers. That’s what really matters to us both.”

Moving customisation to next level

“Our relationship with Unmade is helping us move our customisation offering to the next level. The data that Unmade's platform gives us has really pushed the limits of what is possible in our manufacturing and fulfilment processes and inspired innovation right across our domestic operations. Without Unmade’s technology it would have been technically impossible to launch,” said Katherine Petrecca, GM Footwear, New Balance.

“At New Balance we're always looking for new ways to create truly exciting customer experiences and the launch of the NB1 111 silhouette helps us get closer to our customers, and further the ingenuity and prestige of our brand.”

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