New Balance’s New Ambassador, Rebecca Minkoff’s NFT – WWD

DROPPING TRACKS: As another sign of how athletic brands are increasingly banking on well-known musicians to broaden their reach, New Balance has recruited Jack Harlow as an ambassador.

The three-time Grammy-nominated performer is scheduled to represent the athletic brand at Thursday night’s Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game by unveiling a basketball shoe — the New Balance 550. He was not available to comment Thursday, according to a New Balance spokesperson.

The Louisville, Ky.-born rapper will headline key marketing campaigns and will be the point man for the brand to hoops culture. When the music video for Harlow’s new single “Nail Tech” debuts Friday, fans will see him wearing several of his favorite New Balance styles.

With 8.5 million followers on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok alone, Harlow clued in his followers to this week’s single release by posting a video to his social media. The 23-year-old has been sporting New Balance sneakers since he was a boy with the 990s being a personal favorite. More recently, he has favored the Joe Fresh Goods 990v3s and collaborations with the 550s have been “fire,” according to information provided by the family. “I’m excited to peek behind the curtain and work with the brand more.”

Teaming up with high-profile musicians has been gaining steam for several years. While Nike has collaborated with Megan Thee Stallion and Drake, Reebok has worked with Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams and Adidas has aligned with Kanye West, Like its competitors, New Balance has welcomed other nonathletic performers to its roster of ambassadors such as musician Jaden Smith and actress Storm Reid. The more athletically inclined, of course, remain part of the Boston-based $4.4 billion brand’s lineup like NBA player Kawhi Leonard and Peloton instructor Selena Samuela. Leonard will be part of the NBA 75th anniversary Team Honors event Sunday over All-Star Weekend. Another New Balance frontman, Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs, will be sporting new colors of the yet-to-be-released Two Wxy v2 sneakers, which won’t hit stores until this summer. — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG

MORE NFTS: Rebecca Minkoff’s next NFT collection is almost here.

In celebration of the upcoming launch, the designer-entrepreneur has partnered with The Snow Lodge, a restaurant and entertainment concept from the team behind The Surf Lodge in Montauk, N.Y., at the St. Regis Aspen Resort for a President’s Day Weekend full of programming.

Included in the program is a retail pop-up in partnership with Klarna, a VIP dinner and a series of performances from singers and DJs. The weekend will serve as the official countdown to Minkoff’s second NFT collection drop on March 16, during Crypto Fashion Week.

“As a brand and leader in the industry, we are consistently identifying creative ways to celebrate and showcase our innovation within the fashion space,” Minkoff said. “The Snow Lodge felt like the perfect venue encompassing culture, art and style to kick off our official countdown to our second NFT collection drop and celebrate the future of our brand.”

Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff
Courtesy of Rebecca Minkoff

The long weekend will kick off with a VIP dinner with an intimate live performance by Paris Jackson on Thursday. The next day will be followed up by another DJ set from the up-and-coming DJ Blu DeTiger at The Snow Lodge.

Saturday afternoon will have an après ski performance by Bob Moses in the courtyard of The St. Regis, followed by an evening club set at The Snow Lodge. Rising star Amémé, founder of creative collective One Tribe, will perform a DJ set on Sunday. Amémé is also a part of the roster for the upcoming 2022 Coachella weekend in April.

The Snow Lodge in Aspen

A closer look at The Snow Lodge in Aspen.
Courtesy of The Snow Lodge

Throughout the weekend, the Rebecca Minkoff retail pop-up, which is in partnership with Klarna, will be in a yurt in the courtyard of The St. Regis, open from 2 to 7 p.m. through Saturday.

“I love partnering with other entrepreneurial women and am so excited for the program we’ve curated with Rebecca Minkoff for President’s Day Weekend,” said Jayma Cardoso, owner of The Surf Lodge and The Snow Lodge. “At The Snow Lodge, we always focus on creating a sense of discovery whether through our art series, music lineup or the partners we work with. We’re thrilled for our guests to experience and discover a brand that we love.” — CONCHITA WIDJOJO



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