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Concepts Discusses What Went Into the New Balance C-Note

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Welcome to The Walkthrough, where we chat with designers (in painstaking detail) about how their latest and greatest creations came to be, from ideation to production.

Image via @treubleuimagery/Instagram

Sneakerheads, it's time to get it poppin'. Saturday night, New Balance archives were re-opened to debut Concept's latest collab, the M998TN2 "C-Note." Inspired by the new $100 US bill debuting this October, the C-Note features sumptuous suede and mesh uppers plus a vintage sole. If you're looking for a pair right now you're out of luck—all 200 pairs in the store sold out in a couple hours—but the kicks will be available everywhere and online in two weeks. Here, the C-Note's design team walks us through the entire design process.—Heather C. White

Is there anything specific you do at the very beginning of the process to get in the right mindset or mood?
There's never anything specific that we do to get in the right mindset. We have a lot of ideas whether it be stories we want to present, materials, colors etc.

Let's start with inspiration. What's the inspiration of the C-Note?
The inspiration behind the C-NOTE is the number US $100 bills that are getting ready to launch this October. The new $100 dollar bill was originally supposed to come out a few years ago but has had trouble. The last run was actually stolen during transit. We liked the colors and thought that using a made-in-USA shoe would only make sense.

How much of an idea of the final product did you have when you first started identifying that inspiration?
We had a pretty good idea going into the project what we wanted to do.

How was New Balance's 998 reinvented in this collab?
The fact that Concepts is an independent retailer/boutique and that we were able to work on a Made in USA 998 in itself was [reinvention] enough.

What was the sketching process?
The process was done in Illustrator as a CAD. We had a few different colorways and this was the one we liked the best and felt best represented our idea and [Concepts].

And about how long does it take to create a first sample?
The first sample took about 4 months, I believe.

How many versions of the C-Note were created before the final one?
We did two rounds of sampling.

If the C-Note was featured on any magazine cover, which would it be?
· Concepts [Official Site]
· New Balance [Official Site]


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