A 150-year-old fashion brand is a remarkable milestone in today’s click-a-second world — especially in this age of menswear. Australian boot brand Blundstone, maker of some of the most durable and hard-wearing boots on both sides of the Pacific, is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. And if you’re not acquainted with the brand yet, what better time to step into a piece of history than the present?
The idea for started in Hobart, Tasmania in 1855 by John and Eliza Blundstone following a 93-day boat journey from England. This was before the invention of the lightbulb or the telephone, and in 1870, the duo officially launched their company, which became a favorite among farmers and builders who wanted a sturdy pair of boots to get them through a labor-intensive workday.
Even more impressive, the brand has dressed some of the bravest men and women in history. In World War I and World War II, Blundstone made boots for Australian troops. Heck, the boots were worn by Australian explorers during an expedition to Mount Everest in the 1970s. Most recently, the family-owned company has donated boots to volunteer firefighters who are combating Australia’s wildfires. Blundstone has a place in everyone’s wardrobe, as its boots are worn by creatives, rockers, and celebrities like Brad Pitt and Paul Rudd. That’s not something the heritage company takes lightly, either.
“Over the years, our business has evolved but our ethos remains the same. Being conscious of our brand and business DNA has been important — we pride ourselves on creating [a] well-made product with an honesty and authenticity in all that we do,” Blundstone CEO Steve Gunn tells The Manual.
The brand has a line of easily wearable lace-up boots, but Blundstone’s 500 series of Chelsea boots is its signature look. Since the introduction of the 500 series in the 1960s, it has largely retained its recognizable silhouette for men and women: elastic sides, a rugged profile, and front and back pull tabs. Made from oiled leather that will age beautifully over time, these weatherproof kicks also sit atop a slip-resistant TPU outsole for extra functionality. That means these casual-yet-rugged boots go from day to night with ease and work well with dark wash denim, tan chinos, or an Oxford shirt.
What comes next for the brand? Later this year, Blundstone will honor its milestone with the release of its limited-edition #150 Boots, followed by a fall launch of its Heritage series, a product line which pays homage to the past while looking toward the future. With luck, persistence, and a commitment to high-quality craftsmanship, we’d bet Blundstone will be around for another 150 years.
For more information, visit www.blundstone.com.
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