Fashion

Why are these models wearing sneakers on the catwalk?

Hint: It has nothing to do with comfort.

Fashion influencers like Shenkar College of Engineering and Design experimented with sneakers instead of stilettos at their recent show.Fashion influencers like Shenkar College of Engineering and Design experimented with sneakers instead of stilettos at their recent show.Fashion influencers like Shenkar College of Engineering and Design experimented with sneakers instead of stilettos at their recent show. (Photo: Instagram, @nivkeren1)

New Balance, known mostly for its running shoes, is now more than just a sneaker maker. If you didn't know that the Boston-based brand had expanded beyond its core running shoe, just look at Tel Aviv Fashion Week in Israel where models donned New Balance while walking down the runway. Or you could check out its recent outdoors collection with snowboarding brand Burton.

Yahoo Finance's Aaron Task says New Balance is trying to position itself as both an athletic and fashion brand. "I think what's happening is that athleticism and athletic apparel is fashion right now. So maybe New Balance is trying to say, 'Hey, we know we have the utility that you want, but also we have the fashion that you need as well,'" he notes.

Blogger Sincerely Jules is a fan of the sporty-chic look. Blogger Sincerely Jules is a fan of the sporty-chic look. (Photo: Sincerely Jules)

New Balance has been trying to rebrand itself for a younger audience since July, when it unveiled its biggest global advertising campaign in its 100-year history, dubbed "Always in Beta." “It’s an effort to position our brand up against the biggest in our category in footwear, apparel and accessories and in multiple sports,” New Balance's Chief Executive told Bloomberg News.

The growth of fashion trends such as sportswear and a taste for more casual forms of fashionable dress are helping New Balance gain street style cred and mindshare internationally.

At Tel Aviv Fashion Week, Shenkar College's Fashion Design Department's show focused on the different interpretations of the term "avant-garde fashion." While the students' explored various new shapes, colors, textile manipulations and combinations, the footwear remained surprisingly the same; all models walked down the runway wearing New Balance kicks. The Israel-based college was recently honored for its forward-thinking fashion, being named the fifth most influential fashion school in the world by Business of Fashion.

Check out a video from the fashion show below to see the models sporting their sneakers:

https://youtu.be/ZPqttA84xpQ

New Balance isn't just trying to get in with global fashion influencers. The shoe company wants to make street-to-snow cool as well. New Balance teamed up with Vermont-based snowboarding brand Burton to develop an outdoor-inspired footwear collection. The two brands introduced three different styles to the market, each cross-developed to create both a casual outdoor shoe and a full performance snowboard boot. The companies say the Burton x New Balance collaboration will redefine winter mobility with trusted and proven design and performance hallmarks from both sides. The entire line will be available beginning Oct. 24 in Burton flagship stores, on Burton.com and at select New Balance retailers starting Nov. 1.

From runway to mountain, New Balance wants millennials to consider them a lifestyle brand. From runway to mountain, New Balance wants customers to consider them a lifestyle brand. (Photo: Burton)

For those of us constantly on the go, the sneaker-to-everywhere trend is as good as wearing yoga pants all day. We've always wanted to, but we just couldn't until now.

Lindsay E. Brown is the managing editor of Eco-Chick, the web’s first ethical fashion, beauty and travel site for women. She has written for Whole Living Magazine, Edible, and Cottages & Gardens. Lindsay has been featured as a fashion and beauty expert on the Veria Living Network. Lindsay holds a BS in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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