About a year ago I got a call from my friend Luis Navarro at New Balance, he told me that Burn Rubber had been chosen to design what they call an SMU (special make up). In other words we were going to get our own New Balance! When I got that call all I could think about was how much of a blessing it was and how grateful I was to have such an opportunity.

This project is Burn Rubber’s first collaborative effort with a major sneaker company. When I got the call I was so eager to get to work on the design I didn’t wait for the design team to send me a template for the design. I created one  from scratch and it ended up being the one used throughout the entire design process (my actual design is pictured below).

We decided to go with a shop colored theme and utilize materials in unique ways. The custom designed argyle pattern that lines the inside of the shoe was created to incorporate all of our branded colors. We also used a reflective 3M material, originally developed to reflect light for night running throughout the mostly gray shoe to give the design another dimension. The majority of the shoe is comprised of New Balance’s premium nubuck and gray mesh, and completed with a touch of patent leather and a classic gum sole.

As one of the most recognizable aspects of the Burn Rubber brand we have chosen to include the shop’s mascot on the hangtag provided with each shoe. The Chef, originally created to be “just another T-Shirt design”, ended up taking on a life of its own. The photo shoot for this project was done from the perspective of a chef and was intended to bring light to the story of Burn Rubber’s popular logo & style.