New Balance’s Made in USA Line Gets a Notable New Director

By Matthew McMullan
Apr 07 2021 |
File photo

Teddy Santis, a big name in the New York fashion community, will be the creative head for the company’s American-made collection.

As the kids say these days, we at the Alliance for American Manufacturing stan for American-made New Balance shoes. This sneaker company is one of the last manufacturers of athletic footwear in the United States, and it has gone to bat for the enforcement of the Berry amendment, a rule on the books that stipulates domestic sourcing for the shoes and clothing the Defense Department puts on American soldiers. That means steady business for workers in Massachusetts and Maine where New Balance has factories.

But that’s old New Balance news. Check out the new New Balance news:

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A post shared by Teddy Santis (@teddysantis)

As announced in a full-page ad in the Sunday New York Times, New Balance is bringing on Teddy Santis – an icon in the New York fashion community and founder of fashion brand Aime Leon Dore – as the creative director of its MADE line, which are the shoes made in New England and include 70% or more of domestic content. New Balance sneakers are already (in my opinion) pretty cool-looking, in part because Santis has already been collaborating with New Balance on specific lines of classic shoes, but his involvement with the brand will obviously greatly expand in this new role.

It’s picked up notice in Sneaker News, Hype Beast and, as this GQ article points out, it follows in a line of other movers in the fashion world pairing up with footwear brands for long-term collaborations. None of those shoe companies make a clear effort to employ American workers, though. New Balance sneakers are at the top of a domestic manufacturing supply chain that employs more than 7,000 workers, according to the company’s website.

As Santis himself put it that Instagram post:

Thank you to the NB team for trusting me with what I believe is the soul of the brand. I look forward to sharing more behind this campaign and what it represents for our partnership.

Legit. I will buy these shoes when the first Santis line shows up in 2022.