Timberland Wants You To Design Its New Boots
An iconic bootmaker is crowdsourcing design, using feet on the street
The newest boot from Timberland is being designed as you read this… not in the brand’s design studio, but behind the keyboards of the brand’s most loyal customers.
Timberland is partnering with Betabrand to let their customers and consumers help create the Craftletic collection. Through a voting website, this project allows people to have a say in exactly how their next pair of shoes look. The line is intended to explore the intersection of craft and performance. Made by Timberland Design Collective, a collection of designers and craftsmen from Timberland and the VF Global Innovation team, the design session set off in three directions — Modern Nomad, Urbanization, and Neorganic — all aiming to marry high craftsmanship with athletic movement and lifestyle.
The shoemakers received a creative brief. For example, the brief for the Modern Nomad Creative Brief is:
High meets low. Craft meets machined. Materials and styles mix to create new, unexpected combinations. Cultural expression, print, and graphics merge into an eclectic look that is modern yet natural.
The designers first sketch shape and structure before considering materials, trims, and coloring. The results of those forms are starting points for the footwear brainstorm with Timberland’s top talent. Through March 17, users can vote on one of three trend concepts they’d like to see come to market and own themselves, weighing in on design elements from materials, color and even gender. The bootmaker is the first major footwear and apparel brand to partner with Betabrand, a crowd sourcing apparel company. The partnership is utilizing their customers and consumers around the world to bring the new Timberland footwear concept to life. Betabrand is the company behind apparel products like Dress Yoga Pants and Cordarounds.
A prototype of the crowd-sourced winning style will be created and unveiled on the site in May 2016 when consumer voting determines if the product has enough demand to go into production. If so, Betabrand shoppers and Timberland consumers will be the first to receive the winning design as a presale in Fall 2016. Giving consumers the opportunity to become involved gives the shoemaker another touchpoint with its customers, and it gives enthusiasts a way to engage with the brand.
Originally published at www.psfk.com on March 15, 2016.