Getting To Know: Joe Walsh – New Balance

As we are all encouraged to stay working at home during these difficult times, we connected with friends from some of our favourite brands here at Hip to get an insight into their worlds. This week, we caught up with Joe Walsh – Footwear Designer at New Balance to check in on his current situation at his home in Manchester.

Hi Joe, please introduce yourself and your role at New Balance?

Hi, my name is Joe, and I’m a footwear designer for New Balance. I work on Lifestyle product and have been with the company for just over 7 years.

Where are you currently in the world?

Manchester, UK.

What’s your guilty pleasure working from home song?

During this time at home I’ve dusted off an old laptop and found a lot of music that I’d not listened to for a while.. but I’m mostly listening to the latest album from Tame Impala, ‘The Slow Rush’.

Your go to comfy WFH piece from New Balance?

It has to be this grey logo sweatshirt, I picked it up at an NB outlet for about £10 – perfect for WFH. For footwear, the new NB ProCourt is what I’m wearing, it’s a lot easier to keep white shoes clean when they’re staying indoors!

Sofa, desk or garden office? 

My time has been split between the rocking chair and the desk.

Current media diet?

Podcasts: ‘How I Built This’, ‘Business of HYPE’.

Books/Magazines: Lightning ‘Outdoor’, eye_C mag.

Music: Tame Impala, Blossoms, Fuzzy Sun.

TV: Jay Leno’s Garage, The Office (US series) – maybe this is subconsciously making up for being away from our real office..

Which objects at home are keeping you sane?

A mix of the exercise bike and the sewing machines. The bike is ideal for working out indoors, and I find that the sewing machines are great for the mind. I’ve made a few jackets on the sewing machines, and have a healthy supply of fabric here for the weeks ahead.

What things in life have you come to appreciate more during these times?

Time spent with friends and family.

If the world went back to normal tomorrow what is the first thing you’d do?

Visit family and friends, and enjoy being outdoors.

There’s usually a silver lining with all tricky situations, what’s yours?

I’ve quoted a recent piece of writing from my brother here:

‘Though it’s clearly far too early to begin counting the true cost of COVID-19, let alone imagining how a post-pandemic world may look or feel, hindsight teaches us that it’s often when faced with what seem like overwhelming odds that designers and creatives – as indeed humanity itself – are most wont to truly excel.

It’s that thought which can perhaps provide a modicum of comfort in even the darkest of times. For while design may not always be able to cure the sick or rebuild shattered lives, it can, does, and will no-doubt continue to illustrate humanity’s astounding ability to overcome adversity, shape our surroundings and work towards a better world in the long term – and that’s something we should all aspire to, now more than ever.’

Stay up to to date with Joe here view our latest arrivals from New Balance here and keep an eye out for more in this series over the next few weeks. Photos by Eilis Columb.