Design Stories: Inside The New Balance Twisted Silver Furon Whiteout v6

Photography & Words: GAFFER

New Balance officially entered the football landscape in 2015, that’s after testing the waters with its subsidiary Warrior Sports in 2012, with an authentic and youthful approach to the football boots they produced, the clubs they aligned with and the players they signed as ambassadors. But, after becoming European champions with Liverpool, the brand originally founded in 1906, has become one of the economic powers in the sport business system.

When a new brand looks to establish a creative lead in such a congested field like the world of modern football, there’s always a fear that they’ll exist in the shadows of the larger powers and the established performance silhouettes. That notion is only amplified in the larger sportswear circles where an existing brand’s identity is so intertwined with the clubs and athletes that they have become associated with. Making one’s mark while still honouring the DNA of one of the longest-running sportswear brands like New Balance is a careful balancing act and thanks to its current legion of creative leads and footwear designers, the American sportswear brand have managed this challenge better than anyone. 

New Balance continues to disrupt the football landscape by releasing regular limited-edition ‘whiteout’ releases; providing its creative team with the opportunity to introduce new technologies and new approaches to football design. Just last month, New Balance unveiled its latest limited-edition whiteout colourway of the Furon v6: a boot crafted to enhance deadly precision and to deliver a balance between lockdown comfort and lightweight construction. 

The special-edition “White Out” & “Twisted Silver” colourway takes inspiration from the relentless persistence of silverware as the boot portrays a footballer’s desire to constantly win. The silver embroidery casts a unique touch to the whiteout boot enhancing its aesthetic with an array of premium metallic details. Not only does the boot deliver an exquisite whiteout aesthetic but it performs remarkably on the pitch as the V6 is the first version of the Furon to feature a knitted upper called “Fit Weave.” 

The durable Fit Weave upper has been engineered to stretch and retain the shape of your foot while you play for the ‘ultimate barefoot feel.’ Combined with the knit upper, the “Hyper-Lock” lacing system boosts lockdown which offers effortless, easy and efficient change in direction. Overall, the new whiteout V6 Furon is incredibly lightweight and with its streamlined design, the boot allows players to reach maximum speeds during intense in-game scenarios. 

As ever, Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane is the leading figurehead of the Furon range. By developing an understanding of what Sadio requires from a boot to perform, New Balance is operating in new realms of technology to bring elite performance features to a new and improved line of boots. Working closely Mane has allowed New Balance to understand the demands of the modern game and assemble a reliable boot fit for purpose from professional to grass roots level.

To commemorate the launch of the new Twisted Silver Furon v6, we spoke to Luc Fusaro, New Balance Football Creative Design Manager, to unravel the special design process, to find out why the football boot world is crying out for more diversity and to understand how the new Furon boot is a little bit different from all other New Balance whiteouts that have gone before it…

What new technology did you introduce into this limited-edition boot and how will that affect performance on the pitch?

The Furon v6 is built for the assassin; it’s engineered to deliver lethal precision and zero distraction. This is delivered primarily through our new technology, FitWeave; an upper technology that has been designed and developed around the data collected from players during high speed movements, providing a second skin like fit. In addition, a low-profile knitted collar provides the fit and comfort that modern players favour. The extended flying NB branding, the boldest representation of speed for New Balance -adopted from our sprint spikes – and used for the first time in football, wraps the boot providing a younger and faster aesthetic. 

As a designer, how much do you relish these limited-edition whiteout releases? 

These projects are always exciting projects to work on. They allow you to step outside the normal boundaries of a silhouette or price point and give you greater freedom as a designer to explore materials and finishes that wouldn’t normally be available for standard inline models. It’s an opportunity to express yourself.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in the creation of the latest whiteout iteration?

Blackout and whiteout boot launches always have immense consumer appeal; they have become synonymous with our seasonal collections and our consumer is anticipating their arrival. As a design team, our challenge is to continue to evolve and renew our triple white execution in a way that feels fresh and exciting. The challenge is particularly difficult for triple white boots as you have to rely on textures and finishes, you don’t have the flexibility that colour provides.

This design is notably different from all other whiteouts because of its significant silver details. Tell us about the thought process and execution behind that…

All eyes will be on football as we head into a major tournament year. The launch date for Twisted Silver coincides with a period within the season where teams and players sharpen their focus, with the ultimate goal of lifting silverware. Listening to players describe that feeling, inspired us to explore the artistic creation of that holy grail; lifting silverware. We worked on incorporating subtle silver touches to the boot as a nod to this craft and a means to delivering something unique for our whiteout boot. This is exemplified through the rich execution seen across the flying NB that wraps the boot.

When did you first fall in love with football boots and when did you start pursuing footwear design as a career?

My love for football itself definitely came first but this was quickly followed by a huge interest in boots and who was wearing them. Once I realised I could actually combine my passion for design with my love for football and football boots it was always something I wanted to pursue. It is truly exciting to design and create products that will be worn by players of all ages and abilities, across the globe.

Who or what inspires you?

As a designer, in today’s digital world, we are far more readily connected to people – everything can become a source of inspiration. Today, more than ever, we are driven by what our consumers care about. It’s quite a design culture shift – inspiration is sought beyond traditional avenues – such as cars, furniture, accessories and more. Our job as designers is to ensure that the products we create reflect the culture of the consumer and what/who they connect with. We want the consumer to be stopped in their tracks; for them to pay attention to what we deliver – the product has to be unexpected and unconventional, and story-telling becomes as important if not more important to achieve this. 

What would you like to see be introduced more often to football boots?

Diversity. Looking into other sporting worlds, especially in the US through Basketball and American Football you see players switching up their footwear on a more frequent basis with new colours and personal stories. This is a direct reflection of the ever-changing pace of the digital world. It is something that hasn’t really reached football yet, but given our size and structure, something that NB football could own.   

Why does boot design remain so relevant and romantic?

Footwear design has transcended traditional product design by becoming a large part of sports culture. It stays relevant and romantic because it’s something that so many people care about – the hype and expectation generated by boot enthusiasts is what drives us every day. To consider every detail of a boot and its story. Boots are an expression of the brand and players personality. If we consider the player as the artist, the boot is their brush, helping them create something on the pitch that they, their fans, teammates and opposition will never forget.

The limited-edition Twisted Silver New Balance V6 Furon is available now via New Balance Football.

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