In case you didn’t know, Timberland turned 50 this year, and to celebrate, the brand has thrown a host of parties and activations. To round out the anniversary, the shoemaker has released This Is Not A Boot: The Story Of An Icon, a film directed by Tom Gould exploring the impact of the world-famous Timberland Boot.
The film tells the story of The Original Timberland Boot through the voices of the diverse communities that have made it an icon. Before it became the stylish staple that it is today, the boot was made to tackle the harsh climates of New England, with its makers, the Swartz family, creating waterproof boots for workers.
In the ‘80s, the boot’s appeal extended to new audiences – loved for its rugged looks by the cool crowd, who began to weave the workwear-rooted shoe into their streetwear wardrobes, particularly in the UK rave and NYC hip hop scenes.
The film tells the story of the work boot, from its humble 1973 beginnings all the way to its culture-defining symbolism (we can’t think of a more New York shoe). It features interviews from cultural icons such as Jeff Staple, Ronnie Fieg, A$AP Ferg, Rakim, Goldie and many more, all of whom tell endearing tales of what the shoe means to them and the role it has played in their lives. It also contains rare archival footage of founder Nathan Swartz’s son and grandson talking about the Original Yellow Boot and the community it has inspired.
Tom Gould shared what the Timberland brand meant to him: “For me, the most rewarding part was being able to connect with all these amazing cultural icons, each with a very personal and emotional connection to the boot. Weaving their unique stories into a cohesive narrative that shows the Yellow Boot’s journey from its earliest days to the present was a rewarding challenge.”
The film follows a host of celebrations that took place in London. UK-based artist Soldier Boyfriend nodded to the shoe’s USA roots in a custom-painted boot that featured a hand-drawn American flag – with the durable work shoe making the perfect canvas.
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