Posted on Oct 25
#NBNYC574: Custom MiUSA 574 Kiosk Debuts in NYC
By: John S. Forrester for New Balance
Designing custom Made in USA 574’s just became an interactive experience. New Balance recently held an event to debut a 574 customization kiosk at the NYC Experience Store that gives customers a hands-on experience in selecting materials and color options as they create a custom pair of the iconic sneakers.
“It’s like watching a kid at a candy store,” says Irving Jaminez, a New Balance employee who works in lifestyle specialty, as tastemakers and sneakerheads took turns creating custom kicks. “You can see their eyes wide open, the oohs the ahs.”
While the same customization options are available online at NewBalance.com, the in-store kiosk features a large touchable LCD screen with a rotatable 3D rendering of the shoe’s design as the different features and colors are selected.
The physical experience of making a custom shoe at the NYC Experience Store's kiosk gives “a little bit more of the New Balance history and you get to see and be hands on with the process of putting it all together is,” Jaminez says.
Near the kiosk, visitors can see how 574's are made as an NB employee assembles limited release versions of the model on site every day (only available at the NYC Experience Store). Swatches of leather and suede, and spools thread in every color hang on the kiosk's walls, allowing you to touch and feel the materials and see exactly what the color options look like.
“When you’re online you can get a little bit of understanding what you’re customizing, but when you’re touching the different leathers, and you’re touching the different meshes, you get to understand that material’s going to help your foot breathe or that leather should keep you warmer and take a little bit longer to break in,” says Mike Cherman, who was making custom New Balance t-shirts at the event. “You finally get the opportunity to sit down with someone, they can explain to you the different materials, the different choices, the different colors and how those things culminate.”
When colors and materials are chosen, a customer puts in their shipping information and a receipt showing an image of their shoe prints out. After the order is paid for at the cash register, the design ends up at New Balance’s factory in Norridgewock, Maine. Their custom 574 is made and shipped out within five business days. Customers usually receive their orders in within six to 10 business days.
DJ Mars, an Atlanta-based NB collector who spun classic funk and hip-hop at the event and produces videos for the brand, says the kiosk offers customers a chance to give the 574 their own unique touch.
“We all rock the same model, but I don’t necessarily want my shoes to be the same color as yours, yours to be the same color as hers," says DJ Mars, "With the kiosk, it gives people the ability to be an individual.”
The New Balance NYC Experience store is located at 150 5th Ave in New York City.