Let’s be honest – sometimes learning the inspiration behind a shoe can completely alter your perception of it. Sure, the design and colors have to stand on their own before anything, but many times, it’s the story being told that gives a shoe that extra dimension of depth and intrigue needed to stand out in today’s overcrowded sneaker market. Every brand has teams of designers racking their brains to come up with interesting concepts and themes, and at this point we’ve just about seen it all. That said, there is still some room for originality in the sneaker game and nowadays, some of the best examples of design creativity have been emerging by way of collaborative projects with respected shops all over the world.
Every prominent sneaker boutique you can name has a staff of guys with a knowledge of the industry and its history and a stack of wild ideas for what they could bring to the table if given the chance. The explosion of collaborations over the last ten years has opened a lot of doors for more and more of these projects, and sneaker consumers have been reaping the fruits every step of the way. There have been plenty of hits as well as misses, but when it’s done right, the sneaker collab has produced some of the most memorable releases of all-time, and in most cases, they all started with a clever inspiration.
Boston shop, Bodega, are veterans of the collaboration circuit and have always brought a unique approach and perspective to their projects. For their latest tag team twirl, Bodega has once again joined forces with fellow Bostonians, New Balance, for a follow-up to their involvement in last year’s four-store ML581 collab capsule. Now with the spotlight all to themselves, they’ve put their special touches on the 577, using some tactfully interpreted inspiration from the cult classic ’90s video game, StarFox. The game’s polygonal 3-D graphics raised the bar when it invaded 16-Bit Super Nintendo consoles in 1993, and has had a special place in the hearts of global gamers ever since.
For their upcoming New Balance 577, Bodega is paying homage with their HYPRCAT edition, a greyed-out make-up of the shoe with some bright splashes of color derived from elements of the game and its general visual aesthetic. The most stunning aspect of the shoe is its eye-catching tongue labels featuring the “Dual Cat” graphics, a personal nod to the shoe’s co-designers, Marvin Bynoe and Randy Price. We caught up with the dual cats themselves to get the full story on the 577 HYPRCAT, so check out the interview in the following pages, and look out for the shoe releasing in-store at Bodega this Saturday, September 7th, and then online through their webstore on Sunday the 8th.