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Timberland toasts the yellow boot's 40th birthday

August 14, 2013|By Adam Tschorn
  • Timberland's Rachel Panetta, right, lifts a glass in honor of the 40th birthday of the brand's iconic yellow boot, which was out in full force, left, at a heritage dinner at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood.
Timberland's Rachel Panetta, right, lifts a glass in honor of the… (Jerod Harris / Getty Images )

New Hampshire-based Team Timberland decamped to West Hollywood's Chateau Marmont on Tuesday night to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the label's iconic yellow boot -- and highlight the apparel program it's relaunching for fall.

The boots were out in full force too -- the seeming footwear of choice for the little black dress crowd, who sported them unlaced and tongues flapping as they circulated through the crowd of magazine editors, photographers, Hollywood stylists and other assorted tastemakers. 

But before we could sit down to dinner, there was one burning question we needed answered: How did the boots end up that particular shade of yellow?

"When the boots were first being made, that was the only color leather we could get our hands on in enough quantity," explained the brand's PR manager, Samantha Racki Komiega. "And it just stuck."

Launched in September 1973, the waterproof leather boots went on to be so popular, Komiega said, that the Abington Shoe Co. eventually adopted the name of its most famous product and became the Timberland Co.

As everyone sat down to dinner, Rachel Panetta, Timberland's senior manager of retail marketing, held her wine glass aloft to toast the brand's past -- and future.

"Thanks for joining us New Hampshire girls here in L.A.," Panetta said. "Our yellow boot is turning 40 this year and we're really excited to take that versatility, durability and heritage to the next level."

Panetta was referring to Timberland's apparel program relaunch this fall. According to Komiega, the brand has long had a strong apparel business overseas and the relaunch follows the decision to bring the domestic side of the apparel business back in-house instead of being made under license by a third party.

Though we haven't seen any of that inaugural collection yet, we have no doubt it'll be worth checking out, given that Timberland's parent company is footwear and apparel behemoth VF Corp. (the owner of Vans, Reef, Wrangler, and Nautica added the company to its stable of brands in 2011 for a reported $2.3 billion).

Hitting Nordstrom department stores and select boutique retailers next month, the debut men's and women's collection is heavy on the outerwear (think leather jackets and waterproof coats) and includes things like plaid work shirts and denim bottoms.   


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