Under Armour launched the latest version of its retro UA Forge 96 sneaker on Wednesday, the signature piece of a campaign to promote the Baltimore brand’s new “sportstyle” category.
The chunky Forge 96, a throwback to the decade and year when CEO Kevin Plank founded the company, come in three colorways, with Baltimore-based artists shown through the lens of Baltimore photographer Devin Allen wearing the shoes and other new products in the line.
“This season, he followed an ultra-creative group of all Baltimore natives working across disciplines that define the energy, creativity and free spirit of the city,” the company said on its website.
The group includes Corey Wash, a model and artist in photography, painting, drawing and installation; Geordan Briscoe, who works in art digitization at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art at Morgan State University; Jacob Marley, founder of Blush + Brews and event series Bollymore; Linae Bullock, an actress and painter; and Soduh, a rapper.
Under Armour entered the lifestyle market in August with UA Sportstyle. The company said it was aiming to bring its athletic legacy to a new line of shoes and apparel “at the intersection of performance and style,” and introduced a roster of Sportstyle “Pioneers,” rappers, designers, musicians and athletes to help pitch the line.
The latest Forge 96 will be out Friday, featuring bold color blocking and leather, mesh and reflective film materials. It will be sold for $120 in limited quantities.