There’s something about a well-told story that gets me every time. And, today, as consumers, we want to hear stories that truly resonate with us, as opposed to typical marketing mumbo jumbo. I connect with stories. Like a great bass line in a song, a good story hooks me totally. I like sneakers. I collect them, but my collection has always been functional, from my North Stars and Gypsies in the 70s and 80s to my British Knights, Adidas Sambas and Shelltoes, Converse All-Stars, Jack Parcells, Pumas, etc in the 90s and 00s. When I was a sprinter, a couple of lifetimes ago, my spikes were Nike.

In the last few years, there has been a shift to being able to wear sneakers in a lot more spaces, dressed down or dressed up, which is perfect for those of us who have to traverse multiple worlds as people and as professionals. In fact, sneakers often cost more than what a typical dress shoe costs and, at times, fall within the ‘luxury’ and ‘lifestyle’ spaces.

I generally try to stay away from affiliation with brands but, in this instance, have been establishing a relationship with New Balance which, ironically for me, was started in the early 1900s as an arch support and prescriptive footwear company. Ironic because I wear an arch support due to multiple operations, including muscle transfer, on my one leg. The company has undergone a couple of ownership changes and an evolution into a fully fledged sports and lifestyle footwear and apparel company. As part of the relationship, I’m learning much about the company, its philosophy, design philosophy and story. I am also getting insight into what’s to come, which I will share regularly here.

A man who has been key to New Balance in this era is an American ad man and designer called Terry Heckler. And this is the story of how he became involved in designing New Balance sneakers.


1 Comment

  1. buthayna ibrahim

    When I initially read the title in my email box I thought it was relating to life balance.

    Nice video clip. Will be nice to follow as your relationship grows.

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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