Black Box Distribution Founder Jamie Thomas and CEO Frank Messmann have announced a collaboration between the action sports distribution company and New Balance, facilitated by Westlife Distribution’s Mike West, whose company has been creating unique footwear collaborations between New Balance and 686 for the past few years.
Black Box says the opportunity presented itself to connect New Balance and Black Box around the skate market, and the
companies have joined forces to create a line of performance-based skate footwear they’ve dubbed New Balance Numeric.
We talked with Thomas and Messmann to get some initial details, although it sounds like the product will be under wraps until it debuts at next year’s Agenda Tradeshow in Long Beach, January 4-5.
How does the partnership help both companies?
FM: Fallen and New Balance Numeric are very complimentary in their design direction and potential customer base. Fallen’s focus is to make affordable timeless skate footwear with a traditional skate aesthetic and New Balance Numeric will focus on pushing the boundaries and expectations of performance based skate footwear with more of an athletic aesthetic.
Where will New Balance skate shoes be carried? Which retailers are showing interest?
FM: New Balance Numeric will be sold to specialty skate and action sports retailers. The collection will debut at the Agenda Tradeshow. So far we have only shared this project with a limited number of retailers and they’re all very enthusiastic.
Talk about Mike West’s role in this partnership?
JT: Mike West and the creative team he has hired for New Balance Numeric will be responsible for all of the product design and creative development with input on design and footwear technology from New Balance. Black Box will handle the rest.
What are the details on the product? How will you set it apart from other skate shoes currently on the market?
FM: The details of the product will be unveiled at the Agenda show in January. New Balance Numeric will combine our knowledge of skateboarding and skate aesthetics with New Balance’s heritage in athletic footwear product excellence through comfort, fit, quality and technical materials.
What are you most hyped on about this partnership?
JT: I am most hyped about the positive energy this partnership creates for the future of our distribution as well as how this partnership enables us to further support skate retailers with a new brand they can trust and depend on.
Click through to page two for the official statement from Black Box Distribution: