McCann London Gets Its Very Own Sneaker, Inspired by the Agency’s Art Deco Building

Architecture for the feet, from Norman Walsh

Headshot of Angela Natividad

In partnership with Norman Walsh, a British sports shoe brand, McCann London has created the Herbrand Seven-Eleven, a pair of sneakers inspired by the agency's own art-deco-style building at 7-11 Herbrand Street. 

The limited-edition shoes, manufactured by hand in Norman Walsh's factory in Bolton—where the brand's been based since 1961—bear the distinctive white and green colors of the McCann building. They went live Wednesday at an agency exhibit celebrating Norman Walsh's history.

"Many sports brands are keen to stress their Britishness, but Norman Walsh is the only British-owned sports footwear brand still manufacturing in this country and a real authentic icon of the craft heritage that remains in this country, so we want to help tell their story," explains Laurence Thomson, chief creative officer at McCann London. 

The exhibit includes the running shoes that founder Walsh designed for the 1948 Olympic Games, plus original shoes created for track and field, marathon and fell running, rugby and soccer. "The Peaks of Walsh," a showpiece that references the stone cairns of northern Britain's hills and mountaintops, will feature a formation of cairns and recount the history of fell running (a form of running that tests your stamina across various inclines)—not to mention the peaks (har!) that Walsh, the man and the brand, have achieved. 

"Our collaboration with McCann London has not only resulted in a beautiful new trainer but an exhibition that brilliantly conveys the history of our brand and the craftsmanship that goes into everything we make," says London agent Tim Walker for Norman Walsh. "The team at McCann have a real passion and appreciation for our brand, and we're proud to work with them to make our story famous." 

This follows past collaborations between Norman Walsh and brands like Marks & Spencer and Universal Works, in keeping with a wider trend of brands partnering with shoe companies to produce their own—sometimes bizarre—pairings, like Nike's Kyrie Irving Krispy Kreme kicks.

The Herbrand Seven-Eleven will be displayed in a window at the agency and on the McCann London website, where you can buy a pair—provided your creative director doesn't mind. The Norman Walsh exhibit will be open to the public for the next two months. 

More photos of the shoes appear below.


Agency: McCann London

Chief Creative Officers: Laurence Thomson, Rob Doubal

Business Lead: Oli Morgan

Account Manager: Rami Noumaan

Project Manager: Sarah-Louise van Uden

Planning Partner: Karen Crum

Executive Producer: Sophie Chapman-Andrews

Producer: Kezia Clark

Print Producer: Liam White

Studio Manager: Ellis Faint

Creatives: Jacob Bjordal, Jim Nilsson

Head of Art: Michael Thomson

Shoe Design: Marc Siese

Set Design, Build: Ben Miller

Photographer: John Martin

Music by Frukt: Tim Sutton, Chris Gilbert

Walsh London Agent: Tim Walker

@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.
Publish date: June 9, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT