HANON Talks: Richie Roxas and the New Balance 1300JP
In anticipation of the 2020 edition releasing this weekend, HANON caught up with New Balance aficionado Richie Roxas otherwise known as NewBalance365 to talk about the MiUSA New Balance M1300JP. Hailing from Philadelphia, Richie has been collecting New Balance for over 25 years and has one of the largest New Balance collections in the world. Scroll down to see what he thinks of the upcoming release and what the 1300JP means to him.
Hi Richie, thanks for taking the time to chat to us! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your love for New Balance?
I started collecting New Balance in the mid 90's. Me and my group of friends were really into skateboarding, punk music, and sneakers/fashion. We weren't limited to just New Balances, but we all loved the brand. We worked our crappy minimum wage jobs and saved up for skate decks, CDs, and sneakers. One of my best friends got a pair of 1300 before me, and they looked so good that I had to have my own pair. Once I discovered eBay in ‘99, I was able to scour the planet for stuff from all over. This really opened my eyes to all of this other NB related stuff that I had never seen locally. My scope was broadened during my trip abroad to the UK around 2002 and saw the UK-made models and colorways. As time went on, I was just buying stuff wherever and whenever I could. The hobby amassed into a collection, and I pretty much still do the same thing today, but there are more and more resources now. I always loved New Balance because they were sort of an "underdog" brand and I'm the kind of guy that always sides with the underdogs.
The New Balance 1300JP was originally released in 1985 and then saw a return for the first time in 1995. Now I know you’ve been collecting New Balance for a long time, but when was the first time you became aware of the New Balance 1300JP?
I first got a pair of 1300CL in 1997. We had no internet or catalogs to even know of the original 1300 or any of the JP editions. It wasn't until the 2000s when I saw an image on the internet that I knew they existed. 1300JPs were impossible to get in the States! The 2010 version was the first one available outside of Asia and I doubled up right away, which was an instant $700 hurt on my credit card!
If I remember correctly, I’m sure you’ve said before that the 1300 is your favourite New Balance of all time. Why is that?
The 1300 is the perfect sneaker to me. It's equal parts sporty and casual. The colorway is also both sporty yet casual. The grey compliments perfectly with the whites and off-whites… but that shade of blue! It's almost indescribable. It's literally like heavenly sky blue, and the blue-ish hued laces to go with it. It just takes a bland colored shoe and spruces it up just enough to pop without being too crazy. The 1300 is the cool guy in the corner of the party just chilling and enjoying the environment, not the other cool guy that's dancing all crazy in the middle of a dance circle. It just looks great with any outfit too, and let's not leave out it's comfort.
You’re probably one of the only people who has an almost full set (and multiples) that consists of pairs from ‘95, ‘00, ‘05, ‘10, and ‘15. Have you ever come across an elusive original pair from 1985?
I do have a complete set with a few doubles from 1995-2020. I do not own an original 1300 from 1985. I've recently seen a pair in my size on a YahooJP auction but it was $1000+. If I had the money, I would totally pay that price for that shoe; no question. I'm still seriously considering it. Either that or convince my friend Tiago to sell me his pair!
What is it that makes the 1300JP so special?
Everyone can talk about how "special" the 1300JP is. There will be blogs and articles and IG posts etc, but you have to actually see and hold a pair in hand for the full realization. It's obviously handcrafted, but touching one, it sounds a little corny, but you might actually get a sense of the people responsible for making that specific pair. There's a sort of "soul" to a pair of 1300JP. A "connection" of some kind to New Balance and the people there who are at the factory making these things.
With the introduction of Horween Leather to this pair and also the rumoured Made in Japan pair, these things only add to the legendary nature of this shoe. Are you already looking forward 5 years down the line wondering about the next iteration?
Great question - the Horween is a nice twist to the original recipe, and I definitely didn't see that one coming! I'm all for the Horween but I also hope it's just for one or two editions and not further on. Not only have I been thinking of the 2025 edition and what it will be like but what is the 50th Anniversary gonna look like?! That's what is already on my mind!