Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.
In celebration and commemoration of Black History Month 2021, New Balance has announced a new “My Story Matters” collection of footwear and apparel. Designed entirely by the brand’s Black team members, the collection boasts a tan, purple and burgundy color palette inspired by Sunday church services, and is centered around fresh takes on the 990v5 and 574.
Revealed in a Dapper Lou-directed campaign that stars NB ambassadors Jaden Smith and Coco Gauff, both shoes present their pious inspirations in a different fashion. The made in the USA 990v5 is mostly dressed in tan, with regal purple towards the heel and rich burgundy used as trim on the midfoot and forefoot. On the other end, the 574 adds a healthy dose of purple suede towards its forefoot with black and gold hits on the midfoot and heel.
This ample use of purple shades across the collection is a nod to a specific, memorable part of Sunday services — namely the robes often worn by gospel choirs. Apparel consists of hoodies and T-shirts with “My Story Matters” printed across the front and back. For allies who want to express solidarity with the “My Story Matters” message, other offerings read “Their Story Matters.”
“This Black History Month takes on a new meaning and importance in light of the events of this past year,” says Chavon Cham, Senior Product Manager for Lifestyle Apparel at New Balance and a driving force behind the collection’s creation. “We wanted to create a collection that celebrates the power of Black stories, both in name and design. ‘My Story Matters’ drives home the core truth that every Black story has value and deserves a chance to be heard.”
The New Balance “My Story Matters” collection will release via the New Balance webstore and at retailers like Foot Locker on February 15. The 990v5 is priced at $180 USD and the the 574 at $90 USD. Apparel runs from $22-$90 USD.
Elsewhere in the world of New Balance, the brand’s popular 550 has dropped in two new colorways.