The Wellington boot is a characteristically British phenomenon invented to cope with our wet, unpredictable climate and our love of the outdoor life.
In the past it may have been confined to the farmyard, moorland and the shooting field, the preserve of countrymen and walking enthusiasts but in recent times it has stepped from its rural fastness in the mainstream of fashion and can now be spotted at polo matches, music festivals and city parks. Hunter (then named the North British Rubber Company), founded in 1856 in Scotland by Americans Henry Norris and Spencer Parmelee, manufactured a wide range of high- quality rubber products including tyres, hot water bottles, golf balls and rubber flooring.
In 1914 the company was commissioned by the War Office to construct a sturdy boot able to withstand the flooded trenches on the Western Front, a commission which was renewed at the outbreak of World War II. The company supplied millions of soldiers in both wars with boots to keep their feet warm and dry during the rigours of active service. This put the company on the map, forging Hunter’s reputation as a symbol of protection, craftsmanship and intelligence. Hunter is an innovative brand which, under the guidance of creative director Alasdhair Willis, works hard to appeal to a broad cross-section of consumers through a range of promotional activities and collaborations.
Hunter has stepped from its rural fastness into the mainstream of fashion and can be spotted at polo matches, music festivals and city parks.
In the latter half of 2018 Hunter launched ‘The Original Flying Boot’ a 120-foot hot air balloon inspired by Hunter’s Original Wellington boot, carrying all the Original boot’s design details, including a reference to the 28-part hand-crafted construction of each pair. Celebrating the brand’s 162-year heritage and in recognition of its birthplace, The Original Flying Boot’s maiden voyage was from Scotland in July, embarking on a global tour reflecting the brand’s position as a quintessentially British export. Traversing the globe appearing at festivals, sporting events, shows and other key outdoor calendar moments, the Flying Boot’s world tour continues throughout 2019.
Hunter boots are synonymous with both city and country living and offer something for everyone from cool young festival goers to rugby players and country sports aficionados.
Hunter’s flagship stores continue to thrive in Tokyo, London and Toronto, the success of which proves that there is more to the Hunter brand than boots. In its flagship stores 50 per cent of Hunter’s sales come from non-footwear, and 2019 sees the widest variety of apparel accessories and footwear to date for Hunter Original, reinforcing its position today as a multi-category brand, whatever the weather. From city-ready styles to festival essentials, the collection is inspired by Hunter’s spirit and heritage spanning 160 years.
Following the success of earlier collaborations, Hunter will embark on more ventures with new partners in 2019. 2018 saw Hunter Field form a new partnership with Harlequins Rugby Club. For the Hunter x Harlequins boot the famous Harlequin logo has been printed onto the inside lining and team colours adorn adjustable strap on the outside on the boot. The successful venture between Hunter and the National Trust will be repeated win 2019, celebrating a shared love of the outdoors and of history.
HUNTER 83-85 Regent Street London W1B 4EN, +44 (0)330 333 4290