This winter has been filled with polar vortexes, Fashion Weeks and struggle, which taught us two things: 1) Always dress for extreme cold, even if the forecast says it will be warm and 2) Timberland boots are continuing to dominate the footwear market.
We literally saw everyone wearing the classic yellow boots, often in street style photos. What was once a staple in the Hip Hop community is now something Suki Waterhouse, Ashley Tisdale, Scott Disick and Khloe Kardashian wear. The trend to the mainstream seemed to emerge out of nowhere and was direct competition to Dr. Martens.
On board to explain this street style phenomenon is Frank Hwang, Timberland’s global brand manager for women’s footwear. He sat down and answered a few of our burning questions about the brand, including why their classic style is their best-selling.
On how modern trends affect their design process: “We’re always tracking all the latest trends from the runways to the boutiques to the streets. We know that consumers are so savvy and are always looking for the latest and the greatest styles. We take those trends and interpret them to be appropriate for Timberland. We’re not interested in chasing the latest trend, but look to apply the inspiration that we find into our products through our design philosophy. And of course, we continue to be inspired by our New England outdoor and work heritage.”
On how design influences customer loyalty: “In the last 18 months, we’ve done more consumer insight work than ever before. Consumers demand a lot more from their products now, and they know that Timberland can deliver on the style and the performance while letting you feel better about protecting the planet.”
Their best-selling boot is: “The classic 6 inch yellow boot is still our most iconic style, and continues to be one of our best sellers; we’ve sold millions since its inception in 1973. It’s built on a foundation of craftsmanship, high quality leathers and amazing waterproofing. People gravitate to the boot from all walks of life because we are all seeking something dependable that can anchor a bunch of key looks or our wardrobe.”
On what’s new for the brand: “SensorFlex™ technology. We’ve taken the best cushioning technology usually reserved for a sneaker brand and married it to more classic patterns like oxfords, hiking boots and even boat shoes.”
On the importance of street style: “We consistently strive to merge classic, rugged styles with modern, refined twists. So the designs you see feel connected to the past with authentic craftsmanship—but inherit relevant design trends from the here and now. We are constantly looking at the latest style trends, runways and of course the streets to gain inspiration for new colors and, silhouettes to get the best of old and new—in a uniquely Timberland way. We like to think that every product we make from a boat shoe to a jacket to a leather bag all carries the same DNA of the yellow boot.”