Alpha Industries’ New Balance 574 Is a Flight Jacket For Your Feet

No stranger to collaborations, Alpha Industries continues to riff on its hero offering, the MA-1 bomber jacket, with an unexpected New Balance team-up.

It’s a fairly straightforward merging of the two brands, a union that isn’t particularly groundbreaking or novel. New Balance’s quintessential 574 running shoe is outfitted with Alpha Industries’ signature ribbon hang tags, one reading “Remove Before Flight” — an instantly recognizable marker of the brand — and the other emblazoned with the New Balance logo.

Set to release in September, the shoe follows the same prescriptive formula Alpha Industries seems to have implemented with past projects: just put a hang tag on it.

Perhaps its buzziest release, Alpha Industries’ Vetements collab — an incarnation of the MA-1 — was adorned with the inimitable tags. AAPE’s Alpha Industries MA-1 also featured the zipper pulls, as did Sutterheim’s Alpha Industries rainwear.

Granted, a good portion of the brand’s commercial success rests on those tags — considering its rich history, the ribboned pulls have morphed into a calling card for a specific aesthetic, one that marries American heritage with hype.

Still, it would be refreshing to see Alpha Industries reinterpret that calling card in an unexpected way. I’m no designer, but perhaps the signature detailing could be incorporated into the actual construction of a product, whether on the foxing of a sneaker or the collar of a jacket.

At the end of the day, though, Alpha Industries has managed to pull off more than what most can lay claim to: the brand has ballooned from niche to mainstream, thanks to the steady popularity of its easily digestible military-wear-with-flair. Its New Balance 547 is just another extension of the brand’s consumer-friendly appeal — we’re sure they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.


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