Timberland Marks Five Decades of the Original Timberland® Boot With Launch of Future73

  • Invites team of six future makers, including Samuel Ross, Edison Chen, and Nina Chanel Abney, to reimagine the icon for the worlds ahead
  • Announces full year of activations, celebrating the communities that helped shape the Timberland of today, and inviting consumers to participate in shaping the Timberland of tomorrow

STRATHAM, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–2023 marks half a century since the original Timberland® Boot was first created – a design that cemented the tree logo as a hallmark of innovation, durability, craftsmanship, and purpose. With an appreciation for the last 50 years and a dedication to build an even better next 50, Timberland will continue to drive boot culture in the same way it created it – with a pioneering spirit that celebrates the communities that have defined the brand’s past and present, and invites today’s generation to help shape its future.

Today, Timberland kicks off a full year of 50th Anniversary programming with the launch of Future73, which calls on six future makers from across the globe to reimagine the Timberland® Premium 6-Inch Boot through their own lens of bold innovation. Their capsule collections, which include complementary apparel pieces, will drop between March and October 2023. By infusing Timberland’s legacy with their unique vision, these iconoclasts have created a window into the past to modernize the icon for the worlds ahead.

The collective of world-renowned creatives and designers assembled for Future73 include: Edison Chen, Canadian-born Hong Kong actor turned creator and founder of streetwear and lifestyle brand CLOT; Samuel Ross, British designer and founder of A-COLD-WALL*; Suzanne Oude Hengel, Netherlands-based knit researcher and footwear innovator and founder of Knit In Motion; Nina Chanel Abney, Chicago-born, New York-based contemporary painter and artist; Humberto Leon, Los Angeles-based designer, retailer, creative director, and restaurateur; and Christopher Raeburn, British designer and founder of his own responsible fashion label, RAEBURN.

Working in close partnership with the Timberland design team, each future maker took a unique approach to catalyze the Timberland® Premium 6-Inch Boot into the future — from incorporating new and unexpected knit technologies, to exaggerated features like super-chunky rubber soles, to inspiring artwork coming to life, with the boot as canvas. The project also produced the first-ever Premium 6” Boot to be designed for disassembly through the brand’s Timberloop™ circularity platform. Throughout this future-looking project, the Timberland DNA remains strong and clear. These boots – just like the original – are built for change, built to be bold, with purpose and without compromise. Each was imagined and prototyped in Timberland’s new in-house design innovation lab and maker space.

The innovators expanded upon their concepts by creating a capsule apparel collection to complete each look. In addition, each had the opportunity to create a second future-looking footwear design, based on the Timberland silhouette of their choosing.

The Future73 capsules will be released in a series of seven drops throughout 2023 at some of the world’s most influential fashion and streetwear retailers, as well as Timberland® flagship stores and timberland.com. Each drop will have its own launch moment, inviting consumers to participate in creative sessions where the future makers will share their vision and inspire the next generation of creative trailblazers. This will be supported by a robust digital and social media campaign, including striking photography and a series of heartfelt video interviews discussing their Future73 process and the overarching ideas behind their collections, to amplify storytelling and connect with consumers worldwide.

“What an honor it has been to work alongside these amazing creative minds,” said Drieke Leenknegt, Chief Marketing Officer for Timberland. “Each has taken the Timberland® Premium 6-Inch Boot and transformed it through the lens of their own bold innovation and design ethos, giving us a view of what the icon of the future might look like. It’s our legacy, with their vision, and together we’re forging new frontiers of boot culture.”

A Full-Year Celebration

Future73 sets the stage for Timberland’s 50th Anniversary journey and the brand’s mission to evolve and build its global community. While Timberland’s origin story is rooted in workwear and the “timber lands” of New England, the boot became just as synonymous with city streets – and a true international style icon – after being adopted by hip-hop culture in the ‘90s. The Hip Hop Royalty Boot dropping February 24th pays homage to this ongoing chapter of the story. To honor the community that helped make Timberland the brand it is today, Timberland will host youth design workshops in key cities along the I-95 corridor this spring and summer in partnership with CNSTNT:DVLPMNT, a small Black-owned business founded by Timberland footwear designer Chris Dixon to cultivate untapped talent and expand the creative community.

As part of its 50th, the brand will also invite consumers to customize and personalize their Timberland boots like never before, in both digital and physical spaces. The first will be unveiled this spring, at the soon-to-open Timberland flagship store in New York City (Soho), offering everything from boot cleaning and repair services to design customizations.

Later in the year, the celebration continues with a 30-minute documentary film chronicling the pivotal innovation, fashion, and cultural moments behind the original Timberland® Boot, as well as two special 50th Anniversary Boot collections. It all culminates in October, with celebrations and film screenings in cities that are central to the Timberland story, such as London, Shanghai, and of course, New York City.

The Original Timberland® Boot – a bold design with humble beginnings

The origin of the original Timberland® Boot can be traced back to 1973, when Boston-based Abington Shoe Company revolutionized the footwear industry by using injection molding technology and silicone-injected leather to create truly waterproof leather work boots. The idea was the brainchild of Russian immigrant and veteran shoemaker Nathan Swartz, who had acquired Abington Shoe Company in 1955, and his son Sidney. (Nathan’s other son, Herman, had also joined the business.) The boot set new standards for waterproof performance and was branded The Timberland; it became so popular that they changed the name of the company to Timberland in 1978.

Timberland and its iconic yellow boot were born from hard work in the outdoors. Former Timberland CEO Jeff Swartz remembered his grandfather Nathan as “a man of his hands, who sweated at work, who made things with concern and care for the outcome.” Timberland is defined by the outdoors mindset and volatile weather of New England, making the boot a gamechanger for workers – not only was it waterproof, but it required less cumbersome construction and materials for a more comfortable, lightweight experience.

Through its 1973 introduction and adoption by cultures and communities worldwide, the original yellow boot cemented Timberland’s position as the arbiter of boot culture and spawned a host of innovations and new icons over the following 50 years. From the Euro Hiker to the 3-Eye Lug Handsewn Boat Shoe to the Original Earthkeepers™ Boot, each has been thoughtfully designed from a place of authenticity, durability, and performance. Now Timberland sets its sights on the next 50 years, and the icons of the future.

About Timberland

Timberland is a global outdoor and work inspired brand that’s on a mission to inspire and equip consumers to step outside, work hard together and move the world forward. Based in Stratham, New Hampshire, Timberland also has international headquarters in Stabio, Switzerland and Shanghai, China. Best known for the Original Timberland® Boot–the iconic yellow work boot introduced in 1973 to take on the harsh elements of New England–Timberland today offers a full range of footwear, apparel, and accessories. The brand is widely recognized as the arbiter of boot culture.

At the heart of the Timberland® brand is a vision for a greener and more equitable future. This comes to life through a decades-long commitment to make products responsibly, protect the outdoors, and strengthen communities around the world.

Built for Adventure. Built for Impact. Built for the Bold.

To share in Timberland’s mission, visit a Timberland® store, timberland.com or follow @timberland or @timberlandpro. Timberland is a VF Corporation brand.



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