Teddy Santis takes on new creative director role at New Balance
Teddy Santis, the founder of cult NYC-based fashion and lifestyle label Aimé Leon Dore, has been appointed as creative director of New Balance’s Made in USA line, becoming the latest high-profile designer to take on a long-term position with a sneaker brand.
Santis’ exact responsibilities have not yet been revealed, but as he takes the helm of Made in USA, he will be heading up a popular lifestyle line sold with the promise of a domestic material value of 70% or more. The line, which is manufactured at New Balance’s facilities in Maine and Massachusetts, includes models such as the New Balance 992, 993 and 990v5.
Santis and New Balance have been collaborating on and off for some time, with the Aimé Leon Dore designer having previously worked with the Boston-based sneaker maker on versions of its New Balance 550, 1300 and 990 models, among others, all of which consistently resell for sums significantly higher than their original retail price.
However, the latest development in the relationship between Santis and New Balance looks to be tapping into a new trend in the sneaker industry, which has seen brands shifting their focus from ephemeral collabs to more long-lasting partnerships. In September of last year, for example, Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond signed on as creative director of Reebok, while December saw the announcement of a new long-term collaboration between Adidas Basketball and Jerry Lorenzo, the designer behind Fear of God.
Having founded Aimé Leon Dore in Queens in 2014, Santis has successfully established the brand’s Mulberry Street flagship store as an essential New York address for streetwear aficionados. And following the success of their previous collaborations, New Balance is no doubt hoping to channel the cult status of the label’s designer into a relationship that stretches beyond intermittent creative hook-ups.
As for Santis’ vision of his new role, “I was drawn to New Balance for the way it has built a business founded on values such as integrity and authenticity, rather than passing hype,” he said in a press release announcing his appointment.
“I see a tremendous opportunity to tell authentic stories with real people at the forefront, creating global campaigns that connect our core values with the world,” he added.
The first collection designed by Santis in his new role as creative director of Made in USA at New Balance is expected to launch in 2022.
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