SUPREME Releases Their Version of the Most Masculine Boot in the World

jpeg-2

The Timberland 6-inch yellow boots are the most basic, American, masculine boots in the world. Invented in 1973, it is the 40th anniversary of the shoe, and SUPREME has teamed up with Timberland to release an edition of premium nubuck and leather with snake embossing.

Founded in New England in the 1950s, the Abington Shoe company was the first to use injection-molding technology for footwear, creating the The Timberland, the first waterproof leather boot that didn’t use stitches to attach the sole to the upper. In 1978, the boots had become so popular they renamed the company after them.

Early ads for the boots played up the boots’ working-class New England origins. “When you’re crouching down in some gully with your feet in ice-cold water, never moving a muscle for hours, whilst them damn Treasury agents snoop around with their dogs…that’s the time you’re glad you didn’t cut corners on your boots,” read the company’s first full page ad in the New Yorker.

Yet Timberland’s all-American image can be credited to an accidental international collaboration with Italian teens. The Paninari, a pro-consumerist, hyper-American fashion subculture in 1980s Milan, built a strong look on cheeseburgers, Moncler jackets, and Timberlands, cementing the boots as a fundamental symbol of American utilitarian style – and, paradoxically, a fashion item.

paninari

Though a million pairs of the classic yellow boots had sold by 1985, sales more than tripled when rappers started endorsing Timberland in the 90s. In ’94, Biggie rapped, “I liked black Timbs and black hoodies” in “Suicidal Thoughts.” Timbs outsold Jordans hand over fist. The cover of Mobb Deep’s Juvenile Hell tells the whole story: black tracksuits, a scythe, and two perfect pairs of Timbs.

Composite identity aside, the Timberland yellow boot is perhaps menswear’s most successful example of coolness through the avoidance of coolness. Like its waterproof uppers, associations bead up and roll off the boot – remaining iconically warm, masculine, utilitarian, thug…and blank.

In a smart move, the 40th year release dispenses with the funny business of past collaborations to provide what is essentially the plain old yellow boot itself. It’s the brand’s strongest iteration, made slightly stronger with material updates – yet still 6-inches tall, still waterproof, and still yellow.

The boots will be released in Supreme stores New York, Los Angeles, London and online from tomorrow.

jpeg

Deeper

  • 032c Cosmic Workshop Collection

    032c Cosmic Workshop Belt

    €170
    Buy Now
  • 032c Cosmic Workshop Collection

    032c COSMIC WORKSHOP "Maria" Longsleeve Grey

    €90
    Buy Now
  • Life Exists: Theaster Gates’ Black Image Corporation

    Theaster Gates' “The Black Image Corporation” presents photographs from the holdings of Chicago’s Johnson Publishing Company, a sprawling archive that shaped “the aesthetic and cultural languages of contemporary African American identity.” Gates approached the project as a celebration and activation of the black image in Milan through photographs of women photographed by Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton – of black entrepreneurship and legacy-making. “Life exists” in the Johnson archive, he says, just as it exists and should be honored in other places of black creativity.More
  • FRIDA ESCOBEDO: The Era of the Starchitect is Over

    Rising Mexican architect Frida Escobedo is relentlessly inquisitive, eschewing stylistic constants in favour of an overriding preoccupation with shifting dynamics. Personal curiosity is the driving force behind her practice, which makes he an outlier in a profession dominated by extroverted personalities keen on making bold assertions. "I think it really is a generational shift," Escobedo says. "The idea of the starchitect making grand gestures with huge commissions is over."More
  • “I live a hope despite my knowing better”: James Baldwin in Conversation With Fritz J. Raddatz (1978)

    Born in Berlin in 1931, editor and writer Fritz J. Raddatz relied on food delivered by African American GIs after the death of his parents. To Baldwin he was an “anti-Nazi German who has the scars to prove it.” Debating his return to the USA after 25 years, Baldwin explores the political climate in America at the end of the 1970s in a conversation at home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.More
  • House as Archive: James Baldwin’s Provençal Home

    For her new book, Magdalena J. Zaborowska visited the house Baldwin occupied from 1971 to 1987 “to expand his biography and explore the politics and poetics of blackness, queerness, and domesticity”. Here, she narrates her early journeys to Baldwin’s home and proposes a salve for its recent loss: a virtual presentation of Baldwin’s home and effects.More
  • Where are the real investments? Theaster Gates on James Baldwin

    The Chicago-based artist talks to Victoria Camblin about materializing the past, the house as museum, and preserving black legacies. Social and artistic engagement, Gates suggests, may allow the contents and spirit of Baldwin’s home, and others like it, to settle in lived experience.More