Interview: Paul Lee (Ubiq) on the New Balance x Ubiq “The Benjamin” 1600 + Video
We got a teaser of the Ubiq x New Balance 1600′s earlier this month. After much anticipation, we have an exclusive interview with Paul Lee who is Ubiq’s Brand Manager/ Buyer on the release. Read on to enjoy a great Q and A along side great detailed photos. Get yourself a pair this coming Saturday June 29th at Ubiq. (All photos provided by Ubiq)
How do you feel about the currently state of the sneaker game?
I believe the current state of the sneaker game is good. I feel as though the amount of attention and appreciation for sneakers are at a all time high. There’s sneaker drops from almost every brand whether it’s a retro shoe or a new shoe. There’s something for everyone.
What do you feel is the most important part of a New Balance shoe? Why?
The most important part of a New Balance shoe is its overall comfort. New Balance makes one of the most comfortable running shoes. People today look for more than style when it comes to footwear.
What makes New Balance memorable? Why?
We all appreciate New Balance for the fact that the brand has so much authenticity and heritage. NB makes timeless shoes and people young and old love that. There are so many great NB models it’s difficult to just choose one.
What do you say is Ubiq’s trademark?
Our trademark is ‘The World Over’. We’re a Philly based brand/shop but we see ourselves as curators of the world.
How is Ubiq trying to change the shoe game?
The UBIQ team and I aren’t trying to change the sneaker game… we’re just trying to add to it. There’s been so many great collab projects done by other brands and shops so we wanted to make sure we do the same. We always try to do something new and different so that’s why we picked the 1600. No one has done a 1600 project before so we wanted to be the first.
What is your concept on making the 1600 collaboration sneaker with New Balance?
I thought of 4 things going into this collab… Old Philadelphia, Independence Day, The first American flag made by Betsy Ross, and off course Philly’s favorite son Benjamin Franklin. Philly is a historical city so we wanted to tell a story with the 1600′s. I just imagined what Ben Franklin would’ve worn back then.
Describe your process in picking color/ fabric/ materials/style show?
I worked closely with the NB team at their office in Boston putting this shoe together. We picked the best leather, suede, and the richest colors. Since we were the first to work on the 1600′s, we had to make sure we did it right and make this a premium shoe. The colors and materials had to tie back to the history of Philly and Ben Franklin so when you see the shoe, it’ll all make sense.
What feeling do you want people to get from this drop?
The overall excitement and anticipation on our New Balance release has been growing each day so it’s a great feeling. We love the fact that the teasers we’ve been putting out has been getting people hyped. We want people to feel like they were a part of history when “The Benjamin” drops.
What do you see NB doing differently than other brands?
NB does a great job of working with shops/brands like us in a very organic and grassroots style which I absolutely appreciate. They gave us the creative freedom and supported us from the start.
Is “The Benjamin” a US only release? or Will other retail locations carry the 1600?
“The Benjamin” will be available globally. They’ll be available in select shops in the US, Europe and Asia.
How many 1600′s are being made?
The 1600 Benjamin is an exclusive and limited product so there won’t be too many pairs out there. We wanted to keep it limited as with any special project.
Any last thoughts or comments on New Balance you want to leave us with?
Much love and respect to everyone involved with this project. Thanks to everyone who continuously supports us.