On the heels of Timberland’s collaboration with Stussy, we’ve taken a look back on the footwear brand’s most memorable collaborations over the years. Best known for their classic “Original Yellow Boot” first introduced 40 years ago, Timberland has since gone on to become inseparable from certain global cultures like hip hop. In the process, brands from all walks of life have teamed up with Timberland to re-imagine their iconic 6″ boot. Collaborators range from mastermind JAPAN and Mark McNairy to colette and Undefeated with everything in between. So without further ado, here are some of the brand’s best collaborations. All of them and much more can be found in Timberland’s brand new ICON coffee table book due out soon.
David Z. (August 1998)
For their collaboration with David Z., the downtown New York shoe store doused Timberland’s unmistakable yellow boot in a subtle distinguished grey. The color was chosen to represent the shop’s reputation of standing apart from its competitors, a decision that was a unanimous success.
Staple Design (October 2007)
Another New York collaboration, the boot stemming from the footwear brand’s team-up with Staple Design was done to commemorate the Chinese New Year. Featuring an oxblood upper adorned with Chinese characters and celebratory tassels, the boot paid homage to the centuries-old holiday while remaining inarguably on-point.
Concepts (April 2009)
With the Massachusetts-based shop Concepts, the two went back to black and outfitted the 6″ boot in Epi leather. Since the store specializes in carrying rare and emerging products from the world’s most respected brands, the collaboration was a no-brainer.
colette (July 2009)
Parisian super boutique colette made their mark on Timberland’s most iconic silhouette by adding contrast blue stitching, collar and laces. The colette logo appears on the tongue for a clean yet recognizable interpretation.
Undefeated (Fall 2009)
Sold at Undefeated stores in Los Angeles and Tokyo, the two collaborated on three 6″ boots focusing on quality construction and durable performance. To complete this vision, they outfitted each boot in premium suede on the vamp and Cordura fabric on the panels. Laying underneath the embossed Timberland logo was the streetwear brand’s own logo leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind who was responsible for this collaboration.
atmos (October 2010)
Japanese retailer atmos combined the best of both worlds for their interpretation of the boot using a black suede upper set against gold eyelets and multicolor rainbow laces. Taking things a step further, atmos lined the boots with a subtle polka dot pattern.
mastermind JAPAN (November 2011)
Easily this writer’s favorite, Masaaki Honma of mastermind JAPAN added a front zipper closure, twisted lace endings, a mastermind JAPAN logo stamped on the heel, a skull and bone logo embossed on the left tongue and a silver pin clutching the side of the shoe. Although it sounds like a lot, each addition was done with supreme taste resulting in one of the brand’s most sought-after collaborations to date.
Mark McNairy (October 2012)
Prolific designer Mark McNairy took the yellow boot up a notch when he outfitted it in a tan suede upper. To the untrained eye, the boot might go unnoticed. On closer inspection, however, you’ll find premium detailing throughout.
Billionaire Boys Club Bee Line (Spring 2013)
One of Timberland’s biggest fans is also the man behind Billionaire Boys Club Bee Line – Pharrell Williams. So it’s no wonder the two came together to rework the 6″ boot and give it a militant olive/army brown colorway. Keeping things simple, the boots without a doubt have that Pharrell touch.
George Tokoro (Fall 2013)
Although he might not be so well known on this side of the Atlantic, singer, comedian, and writer George Tokoro is a treasure in his home country of Japan. The result, while not for everyone, is certainly a unique take on the 6″ boot. Besides the head-turning contrasting colorway, the boots include a removable leather tongue cover.
Stussy (Fall 2013)
The star of the show, Timberland’s recent collaboration with Stussy kept things simple while managing to somehow further the 6″ boot’s street cred. And they said it couldn’t be done. Zippers appear on the inner side of each boot while the California streetwear brand’s unmistakable logo finds its way to the tongue.
Tommy (Fall 2013)
American fashion brand Tommy stuck to what they do best and used a bold red colorway for their go at the classic boot. Designed for women, the boot features the brand’s signature along the tongue in addition to embossed stars around the ankle.
LUISAVIAROMA (Fall 2013)
Italian luxury fashion brand LUISAVIAROMA chose three colors to use on their interpretation of the 6″ boot including the black version above. Although different colors were used, each boot features contrasting laces, collars, stitching and eyelets.
Opening Ceremony (Fall 2013)
In perhaps the most unorthodox collaboration to date, multinational fashion retailer Opening Ceremony customized the 6″ boot with a sporty elastic lacing system. While certainly not for everyone, the boot definitely has its place on the fine line between fashion and function.
A History of Timberland 6″ Boot Collaborations is a post by Brock Cardiner on Highsnobiety.