On April 18, 2020, New Balance officially released the online launch of its first-ever North African inspired sports shoe line. Titled “Casablanca x New Balance 327,” the trainers were inspired by the diversity of disco and hippy fashion of the 70s and are part of a collaboration with French Moroccan designer Charaf Tajer.
“The design perfectly matches the aesthetic of Casablanca, it’s the ultimate leisure shoe,” Tajer said in a press release. The 327 runners feature the vibrant hues of green and orange and are a nod to the country’s green zellige tiles and orange tree-lined gardens.
“It’s an honor to partner with New Balance on this exciting new style as Casablanca’s first design collaboration,” Tajer added. The 33-year old designer has his own brand ‘Casablanca’ which was described by Vogue Magazine in 2018 as a “French brand with a souvenir of Morocco”. His passion for this city as well as Tajer’s recent Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) award for young fashion designers in Paris, held on March 10, 2020, made him the perfect choice for the shoe collaboration.
Morocco’s culture and design have long inspired the fashion world. The country has frequently made headlines for its haute couture and art world related events. In January 2020, Moroccan Kaftan was featured at the 34th Oriental Fashion Show at the Carrousel du Louvre.
The shoe line will also be made available at 43 global stores including in China, Canada, the US, and Europe.