A Chat w/ Matt Hershey of Timberland

July 22, 2013 BY OBI ANYANWU


If you to list 10 brands off of the top of your head that are truly American through and through, Timberland will be one of the first names mentioned. The brand that was once known as Abington Shoe Company became the iconic Timberland brand in 1973, and since then has provided the best in footwear. Shoes are made for every type of male- the city boy, the nautical gent, the outdoorsy man, and many others.

Timberland has been ranked as one of the best managed companies, the best to work for, and the most admired all by Forbes while their footwear and apparel has been touted as one of the best in the industry to date. This Fall, Timberland is launching a new collection of apparel and at Capsule today, they are showing their SS14 collection.

We had the opportunity of chatting with the brand's Apparel Sales Manager, Matt Hershey, about what makes the collection so special, what to look for from the brand in SS14, and what's to come in the future.


What is the mission behind the apparel collection? Is it meant to compliment the iconic boots or is it a stand alone?

Matt Hershey: This Fall, Timberland is launching a new collection of apparel that brings to life our heritage of quality craftsmanship, authentic style and performance for every environment. Consumers have long trusted us to create footwear that is long-lasting and transcends trends; we’re bringing that same ethos and inspiration to our apparel. Footwear and apparel will continue to live side-by-side in Spring 2014, with a line of jackets, shirts, denim, boat shoes, oxfords, chukkas – and of course our iconic boot – for head-to-toe looks.


How is it differentiated from other outdoor apparel collections?

MH: For Spring ‘14, our men’s apparel collection is made up of versatile gear that can take a guy from the beach to the city with modernized classics and lightweight designs. It’s a natural extension of our heritage as a bootmaker, and features classic Timberland details like quad stitching and boot lace hangers used in jackets and denim.

We designed the collection to take men from the first days of warmer temperatures to the heart of summer. To do this, we’re incorporating new fabrics and textures that perform, in bright colors for a more modern look. For example, in our chinos we’re using Cordura® fibers for added durability in a variety of washes from dark denim to bronze. We also have a travel blazer that features memory yarn, which allows you to remove creases by hand without an iron. Metal snap closures give it our signature Timberland look.

That’s really the difference – great looking apparel that is authentically Timberland's signature style and quality.


What's the Inspiration for SS14?

MH: Spring ’14 is inspired by rugged, authentic American heritage. We’re making rugged styles lighter, incorporating bold colors inspired by warmer New England weather, like bright red and blue. We've interpreted current trends, and created them in a way that's authentically Timberland - creating collections built for the outdoors, whether that means the boardwalk or the sidewalk. You’ll also see lots of Earthkeepers styles this year made with natural and recycled materials. We’re using more organic cotton than ever before and solution-dying some products, which uses less energy and water. To date, we’ve kept 78 million plastic bottles out of landfills by using recycled PET in footwear and apparel.



What is new in this season compared to past seasons?

MH: For spring, we’ve added jackets incorporating lightweight, breathable materials like mesh lining, waterproof micro nailhead canvas, and shower resistant 50 percent recycled polyester (protects from light rain showers). We’re also adding Tapered Selvedge Chinos with a great look, alongside shorts in new patterns and textures.

People love that we're adding travel blazers and updates on the fall styles - they work season to season with classic lines and fabrics that offer a rugged yet refined look ideal for any wearing occasion.


Which styles make a return this season?

MH: We’re bringing back our Stoneham Selvedge Denim (woven on traditional shuttle-style looms so it won’t fray or wear out) in lighter washes for spring, and updated versions of the bomber jacket, using canvas this time instead of leather. We’re also bringing back the Cutwater Rain Jacket, which is a waterproof membrane attached to an organic cotton exterior, so it doesn't look like a plain nylon rain jacket. You can be protected from the elements without looking like it.


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How has this collection been successful, and what can we expect for upcoming seasons?

MH: For fall, we’ve had great sell-in from retailers like Nordstrom who have given us distribution at prime locations, as well as independent retailers, Rayzen7 in Los Angeles, CA; Wharf in Providence, RI; Belmont Army in Chicago, IL; and Lizard Lounge in Portland, OR.

The feedback from (capsule) in January was great – everyone loved the attention to detail and premium look. We’re building on this feedback for upcoming seasons, and are excited to hear what independents think of our spring line at the show today.

Timberland Apparel Collection is at Capsule New York today and tomorrow.


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