Fashion / Fashion News

“Life isn’t black and white… it’s grey” – New Balance celebrates Grey Days 2024 in Sydney

"Grey is power... and the thing about power? Power doesn't shout. It whispers..."


On Friday, RUSSH headed to Surry Hills amid a late-afternoon rain storm to the cosy confines of Beau – an intimate, contemporary laneway wine bar, and the location of New Balance's 2024 Grey Days event in Sydney. Despite the mild inconvenience of the overcast weather, the depth of the afternoon's slate-grey skies certainly felt apt for the day's celebrations.

Officially falling on May 10, Grey Day – now Grey Days, and celebrated over the course of the month – has become an important touchstone for New Balance, celebrating its global sporting and cultural legacy, and the heritage of its signature hue.

"It's the colour that defines us," Darren Tucker, Vice President at New Balance, tells us. "Today is about the heritage of grey – and the way that it's threaded through all of our products, from where we started in the very late 70s and with the original 990 in 1982."

Tucker joined Audrey Bugeja – managing editor at Sneaker Freaker – and Chad Cohen – co-founder of Sydney's Unofficial Run Club (one of Sydney's biggest running clubs) – as guests on an exclusive panel talk at the event. Bugeja, Tucker and Cohen each existing at a separate, pioneering juncture of sport, lifestyle and culture.



"We’re the Switzerland of the sneaker world and have been for over 20 years, so we see everything from multiple perspectives. This is simply the continued evolution of the brand and an organic step for New Balance," remarks Bugeja, when asked about how New Balance embraces new talent.

New Balance really feel like they've hit their stride in the last half-decade – Tucker crediting their new-generational appeal to their adoption of a forward-thinking outlook. "I think one of the most exciting things about us is that, if you look at what we're competing with in the market, a lot of the product from our competition are re-issues. Whereas, three of our best-selling shoes in lifestyle that have redefined the brand – they weren't around even as recently as 2021."

"For us, the appetite to take risks has increased."

For New Balance, progress is about futurism as much as it is about nostalgia. Acknowledging their heritage – and the communities and sub-cultures around the world that have ritualistically donned their footwear – is one part of the process. The other, is about spearheading a way forward – through technology, through innovation, and through ground-level community partnerships.


When Chad Cohen co-founded Sydney's Unofficial Run Club in September last year, he never imagined his weekly Saturday runs alongside 10 of his friends would have found an audience of keen runners amounting to more than 48,000 on Instagram.

"I think people were so locked up during the COVID period that the concept of running became so freeing. And it is also free to do," Cohen told the room, when probed about the newfound popularity of run clubs in Sydney – and around the world.

"So many more people are talking about the definition of a runner. What does it mean to be a runner? For so long, I think the definition was that you were only a runner if you were an 'elite' runner. And more and more people are realising now that you can go out for a 1km run and still call yourself one. Runners are simply those who run."

Cohen remarks that he now wears New Balance sneakers for both his competitions runs and weekly training runs, reaching for the brand due to their versatility, and for the strength of the breadth of their collection, which caters to the surprisingly different needs and capabilities of different types of running.

Alongside the dialogue, New Balance premiered the first-ever look at their Grey Days short film, a series of seven vignettes that paid homage to the brand's pervasive impact on the many facets of global sneaker culture. The film's vignettes were written in collaboration with creative directors of American Haiku, Thom Glover and Daniel Wolfe, alongside Elliott Power, director of photography Norm Li, and with animation from Stray London and still photography by Samuel Bradley.



"This film celebrates not only what grey means to us as a brand, but also what it means to New Balance consumers," said Chris Davis, New Balance's chief marketing officer and senior VP of merchandising. "It also recognises the ubiquity of the colour grey, appealing to people everywhere from supermodels in London, to dads in Ohio, to sneaker connoisseurs in Toyko."

Of course, the month-long New Balance Grey Days celebration also constitutes a few exciting new releases from the brand,  including:

  • existing Grey styles from the brand's lifestyle, performance, Numeric, and kids ranges, including the 327, 574, 550, and a selection of timeless Grey apparel
  • the special edition ‘Grey Days’ WRPD Runner and 1906R launch, featuring material mixes and distressed details inspired by the timelessness of stone
  • the Fresh Foam X 1080 ‘Grey’ launches, with suede detailing and a classic, tonal grey colourway provide a heritage-inspired take on our pinnacle running shoe.


The Grey Days collections will be available in stores and on in May.

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