The Timberland Company has reached a level of brand recognition that all brands aspire to. Timberland has become a regular noun like Kleenex, Xerox and Q-Tip. It’s been over 40 years since The Abington Shoe Company changed its name due to the popularity of its injected molded waterproof design. That classic “wheat” coloured six-inch boot has seen an impressive resurgence in the past few years. The injection molding process used is so intensive that the company currently operates at global capacity; in other words it sells them as fast as it can make them. However, after hearing Timberland Canada’s marketing manager Josh Mckellar speak about the Fall/Winter 14 collection it’s obvious the company still have a few tricks up its sleeve.
“S.P.G. Style, performance and green. It has to be stylish first,” insists Mckellar from inside the Timberland Canadian HQ, located at the gorgeous Evergreen Brick Works. “The consumer buys style. We layer in some performance elements such as waterproofing and then we move on to those green elements, which are nice to have.”
Timberland is known for its rugged outdoor construction boot, but the Fall/Winter lineup has some interesting pieces that highlight the design team’s creativity. The Glazed Ginger colourway is a great way of adapting to the trend of oranges and dark earth tones without making a classic tacky. The collection also succeeds in identifying the appeal of kids sizes to women and creating a reworked design with a slimmer toe box in adult sizes.
It’s obvious there has been a lot of time spent researching how Timberland can attack the demand for specific woman’s pieces such as the premium 14-inch side-zip lace waterproof boot. However, there were also some surprising innovations on the men’s side. There’s a virtually scuff proof classic six-inch with a carbon fiber finish that looks amazing. The design came about from a partnership with Helicor, a high-end leather manufacturer for automotives. Outside of the upgrades to the classic there are some pretty suave wingtips and Chukkas that could replace a person’s latest no-name dress boot.
With a firm grip in the footwear industry Timberland’s “Best then, better now” mantra may seem a bit self-aggrandizing, but when the mantra produces a philosophy that creates pieces like Timberland’s Fall/Winter 14 collection, it is just good business.
Words By. Sean Watson + Photos By. Ashley Iris Gill