Close Ups is a new editorial series by Naked, created to highlight and feature females who are in the sneaker industry, passionate about the sneaker culture and making a difference. For our first Close Up, we spoke to New Balance Ambassador and collector Ida Broen. The 23-year-old Oslo native documents her high-end meets hip-hop style on her Instagram which now has more than 30,000 followers. Ida says she still doesn’t think too much about what she posts or what’s on trend, she just shows what she likes.
When did you start collecting New Balance sneakers and what attracted you to them?
I’ve been collecting for 5 years and I always liked how real the materials are and how you can just feel the quality especially in their chunky models. At the moment I have over 300 pairs of sneakers and over half of them are New Balance. I’ve always liked their company values and I’m so thankful for the opportunities they have given me in the last 3 years.
In July New Balance flew you and 4 other collectors to Flimby, to their ‘Made in England’ factory. What was that experience like?
It was huge and very overwhelming. I was the only girl, but the boys were so nice and kind. When we went to the factory and met all the workers it made it all more real. All the workers are so happy and passionate about the work they do. We got to customize our own design, choose the materials and see the whole process which took a couple of days.
What was it like to customize your own New Balance model?
I’ve been dreaming about designing my own shoe since I was a little girl and it was a special opportunity. There is so much meaning behind the shoe, it represents girls doing things together and having fun. I chose the 991 model, and it’s in my favorite colors black, beige and white. Everyone who knows me, knows that they are the colors I use almost every day. I like the technical process of designing so the suede I used and the way I wanted it to be put together was special and something that hadn’t been done before. I wanted it to be for everyday use but still exclusive, 1 of 1. ‘Forward Together’ is embroidered on the tongue to resemble my opinion that people are stronger when they work together, and we should build each other up because you can’t do everything alone. The most important thing about making this shoe is that people are so happy for me. I’ve gotten such positive feedback and people are so excited for me.
Are there any specific areas in the sneaker culture that need changing to make room for females?
Yes, I want more girls to get into designing shoes. You see lots of high profile guys like Pharrell and Virgil Abloh bringing out shoes but not many women. That’s the thing I got the opportunity to design my own shoe and I want more designers to involve upcoming creatives within the industry. Get the new generation to contribute, we have so many new ideas!
Can you reveal any of your future projects?
I’m launching a website next year for young girls that’s all about being yourself, following your dreams and ambitions, and having a personality. I will be working with another organization and it will have a lot of tips and tricks on the website. It’s gonna be big!
I will also be doing cool stuff for New Balance around the fashion weeks as well as styling upcoming artist Amanda Delara. Instagram is only 10% of the work I do, my platform is not about getting more followers. I just want people to get inspired and it sounds cliché to say but I want to make a difference.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
There are so many girls I want to work with! I went to Bread & Butter this year and I had the chance to hear Adwoa Aboah panel talk, it was really uplifting to hear her speak about her organization Gurls Talk. That was such a great experience and makes me want to collaborate with inspirational people internationally regardless of if they are big or small. I recently took my best friend Annie to Milan and it would be great to do more projects with her. Paloma Elsesser is another girl who is super cool, so open-minded and I love what she did for the Glossier Body Hero campaign, which is all about body confidence and being real. So important!
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
This is a piece of advice my parents gave me, and I also told it to my friend who moved to New York. It was ‘You can’t listen to everyone that has something to say about you or dislikes you, that’s why they aren’t there, and you are’. So, the people who are sending you bad vibes, ignore them and keep focused.