Timberland boots, a rugged essential in workwear that has surpassed its initial purpose of enduring harsh conditions to become an icon in popular culture, are commemorating their 50th anniversary this year. Ever since 1973, the original Timberland boot has persisted as a symbol of innovation, design, and self-expression. From traditionally being used as a work boot to being known as an iconic fashion staple, Timberland has truly come a long way. Taking root in New England and built to withstand the harsh weather of that region, Timberland boots started to be adopted by numerous different cultures around the world.
The 50th Edition Butters Collection and 50th Edition Premium 6-Inch Boot Collection – cc: @grazia
In the 1980s the boot started being adopted in Milan, where “the Paninari” traded their usual stiff tailored look for a more casual American look. The boots began showing up in the UK when ravers found the boot to be a viable footwear option for raves. In the early 1990s, the boots began showing up in the Harajuku District of Japan, a place that was known for fashion innovation and expression. People from the region saw Timberland as a form of individuality, expression, and a nice blend of Western and Japanese styles.
Over the years, the Original Timberland Boot has been given several nicknames: from Yellow Boots, Constructs, ‘61s, and Timbs, Butters remains the most iconic of the lot. In celebration of this milestone, the brand has reimagined classic designs with rich, buttery leather, gold accents, a honey lug outsole, and the premium craftsmanship of the original. For its 50th anniversary, Timberland introduced a vibrant and colorful collection, inviting boot enthusiasts to express themselves. Each color tells a unique story while preserving the features that made the boot an icon.
You cannot talk about Timberland’s history without mentioning its deep influence and connection with the hip-hop industry. Hip-hop coincidentally celebrates its 50th year this year as well. From first appearing at a street party in the Bronx in 1973, the boot has gone on to find a place in countless music videos and lyrics. Hip-hop has officially reached its golden anniversary, and Timberland is paying homage to the genre that helped put it on the map. To celebrate 50 years of hip-hop, the footwear brand dropped a special Hip-Hop Royalty collection featuring the original Timberland, 6-inch boot in royal purple and a matching bucket hat.
Timberland Hip Hop Royalty Boots – cc: @hypebeast
“Hip-hop is such an in-your-face genre where we created something out of nothing,” Timberland designer Christopher Dixon explains in a video posted on Timberland’s Instagram account on.
Notorious B.I.G. wearing Timberland Boots – cc: @vice
From the Notorious B.I.G.’s infamous “Timbs for my hooligans in Brooklyn” line in “Hypnotise” to the long list of rappers that have name-dropped Timberland in lyrics and offered up free promo by wearing the boots in photo shoots and on album covers, Timberland is deeply indebted to hip-hop.
The brand saw a significant boost in sales in 1993, a pivotal year for rap legends, and continued to rise alongside the genre’s popularity.
To mark Timberland’s 50th anniversary, Samuel Ross of A-COLD-WALL was invited to reinterpret the iconic Timberland Boot and Beyond for the Future73 project, initiating a year-long celebration. The project calls on six future makers worldwide to reimagine the Premium 6-inch Boot, infusing their unique perspectives and modernizing the iconic boot for the future. The capsules will be released in seven drops throughout 2023 at influential fashion and streetwear retailers.
This collaboration represents an opportunity for creative minds to blend Timberland’s legacy with their own innovative ideas, offering a glimpse of what the future holds for this iconic boot. The Future73 project showcases various designs, from incorporating new knit technologies to unique artwork, all envisioning the boot’s evolution into the future. Drieke Leenknegt, Timberland’s chief marketing officer, expressed the honor of working alongside these creative visionaries, emphasizing how each designer has reimagined the iconic boot, leading the way to new territories in boot culture.
The Future73 project involves Samuel Ross of A Cold Wall, Christopher Raeburn who’s a long-time collaborator of Timberland’s, Clot founder/designer Edison Chen, Knit In Motion innovator Suzanne Oude Hengel, artist Nina Chanel Abney, and designer Humberto Leon – cc:@vogue