TOMMY X TIMBERLAND
When it comes to 1990s hip-hop culture, no two brands are synonymous with the era quite like Tommy Hilfiger and Timberland. “Tommy Hilfiger products were often paired with Timberland boots,” Mr Hilfiger points out in an email conversation. “Top musicians and celebrities were wearing our stuff, and they loved putting a street-style edge on our preppy look, which is where Timberland came in. I have such fond memories of our brands’ histories intertwining.”
The American fashion titan is here to discuss his two-part collaboration with activewear giant Timberland, which, he says, has been “a long time in the making”. The team-up couldn’t have come at a better moment. Locked down for large parts of 2020 and 2021, many turned to the overt hedonism of bygone eras as a nostalgic, soothing balm to combat the nothingness of being shut in. “The ’90s were such an important time period for modern American fashion,” says Hilfiger, who will be honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award at this year’s Fashion Awards in London. “Diving into our archives and reliving that optimistic, ‘anything is possible’ energy of the ’90s along with Timberland truly shaped the look and feel for this collaboration.”
For Christopher Raeburn, the global creative director at Timberland, it was an honour to celebrate the shared heritage of both brands, reimagined for today’s market. “As a designer, there is perhaps no greater opportunity than to work with legendary brands like Tommy and Timberland,” says Raeburn. “Being able to dig into the archives and bring back these iconic pieces, then infuse them with the classic Tommy Hilfiger DNA and with Timberland’s outdoor adventure-ready utility, was incredibly exciting and rewarding.”
The first instalment to the collaboration – released in October – explored the shared heritage between the brands, remixing archival icons like varsity jackets and parkas, and introducing a newly updated version of the seminal Timberland boot. November’s second drop, photographed here, has a strong focus on eco-innovation and responsible sourcing.
As Hilfiger and Raeburn explain, both brands share a longstanding commitment to responsible design. “Our mission is to become a leading sustainable designer lifestyle company that ‘Wastes Nothing and Welcomes All’. It continues to be important to partner with brands that share our values and ambitions. Timberland is passionately dedicated to sustainability, placing a shared commitment to eco-innovation at the heart of this partnership,” says Hilfiger. “We are united in our desire to find solutions that reduce the ecological footprint of the fashion industry and that could change the world of fashion for the better.”
The sharing of both technical expertise and an enthusiasm for sustainable innovation has led both brands forward “in support of a more green and equitable future,” says Raeburn, who has been able to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of Timberland by rethinking production processes, eliminating waste and sourcing responsible materials to construct his designs.
Reimagining signatures from the two brands, the collection features transparent puffer jackets, which are filled with production off-cuts of Hilfiger’s Ithaca T-shirts, parkas which are tinted with plant-based rice dyes and trousers that come fashioned from durable Gore-Tex fabric. Also featured are modular vests, popover jackets and a range of ready-to-wear goodies prepped and primed to accompany you on any outdoor adventure, big or small.
The collection’s footwear has Raeburn particularly excited, especially the Black Progressive Hiker. “It’s got bold alpine styling with subtle contrasts from the Tommy colour palette,” he explains. “Best of all, it’s made using ‘regenerative leather’, sourced from farms whose practices actually help restore the environment.”
Collaboration has always been a pillar of Hilfiger’s business and working with Timberland has not only offered new iterations to the brand’s classics but has pushed both parties to imagine a fashion future that looks bright.
“The entire collection comes from a place of authenticity, paying homage to the most historic pieces from these two icons and making sure they’re evolved, improved and made better for a new generation,” says Raeburn.
Photographs by Benjamin Breading, styled by Hamish Wirgman. Taken from 10+ UK Issue 4 – BACK TO LIFE – out now. Order your copy here.