We have less than 2 weeks left in 2011 and according to the ancient Mayan civilization the year 2012 is the end of the world and civilization as we knows it. It is also the year of the Dragon, which symbolizes the greats for the Chinese. The Dragon has always been considered the most revered Chinese Zodiac sign of them all. Those born under that sign are said to destined for greatness. Of course, shoe companies all over are taking this opportunity to create a brand niche to the Chinese by taking the mythical creature and placing it all over their sneaker offerings. Nike is already at the forefront with their LeBron 9 CHINA, due out tomorrow in the states and the Nike Zoom KD IV 'Year Of The Dragon' due for China ONLY.
New Balance will also offer their take on the Dragon by releasing a pack of sneakers based on the legendary creature. Select New Balance stockists will be receiving the 574 Dragon Pack 2012 in five different colorways each with an illustration of the symbol of the Chinese's great emperor, the Dragon, etched on the uppers of the sneakers. The artwork goes all around the sneaker and is most noticeable on the inner sides of the shoe, where the traditional "N" logo has been removed.
The shoes will be released in three standard black, yellow and red colourways, but there will also be a limited edition gold colourway that features reflective material for the uppers.
However, what has really caught our eye is the collaboration series that is only made for display purposes. Five influential stores/labels from around Asia were tasked with conjuring up a their unique take on one of the five hero dragons that are based on the wood, fire, metal, earth and water elements.
Mita Sneakers from Japan came up with their take on the wood dragon, which sees the shoes employ a wood-like print on the leather uppers as well as roped laces and cork insoles. Japanese label, Whiz, put their spin on the fire dragon with some mean-looking dragon scales for parts of uppers. China's NPC interpreted the metal dragon by using shiny silver leather with snakeskin accents, while Taiwan's Invincible did up their take on the earth dragon with digital camo and snakeskin accents. Lastly, Singapore's Limited Edt interpreted the water dragon by using see-through uppers with a bit of reflective material on the heels as well as lace toggles.
The 574 Dragon Pack 2012 will be released towards the end of December at select New Balance across Asia, while the one-off collaboration showcase pieces will be displayed at their respective stores.
Images via Streething