Recently, Vogue inadvertently gave credit to Karlie Kloss for making Timberland boots the “fresh new spring shoe idea.” Really Vogue?
For decades, rappers and kids in urban areas have not only made Timberland a fashion staple, but have made the brand synonymous with Hip Hop culture. Hip Hop took Timberland, a brand targeting outdoorsy enthusiasts, and turned it into highly coveted street wear.
Image credit: Complex Magazine
Timberland is not the only brand to capitalize on the flair of Hip Hop swagger. Run DMC got an endorsement deal after an Adidas employee was wowed at the sight of thousands of fans lifting their Adidas sneakers into the air at the Raising Hell tour at MSG in 1986. Evidence that Hip Hop has been the catalyst popularizing brands and making them mainstream for decades. Yet, Vogue and other media platforms continue to neglect the fact that Hip Hop is the trendy-ist of trendsetters.
Image credit: Highsnobiety
Now, thanks to media downplaying Hip Hop’s role as the muse for most street style and high fashion, general market consumers are singing the praises of being “Timberland-Up” to Karlie Kloss and our favorite Black culture appropriators, the Kardashians.
ToyaDesignCo and me wearing Timberland boots (1999)
Vogue, the next time you want to credit someone for a “new shoe idea” be sure to do your research. You can start by referencing your sister magazine GQ, that has several editorial pieces on Hip Hop’s influence on the Timberland craze. Or, with this short list (because there are hundreds) of 25 Hip Hop songs that reference Timberland boots, dating back to 1991.
- Nice & Smooth – Sometimes I Rhyme Slow (1991) “Wore my Timberlands boots so I can stomp…”
- Kool G Rap – Still Wanted (1992) “Army suits & Timberland boots.”
- Akinyele – No Exit (1993) “Stonewashed pants tucked inside some Timberlands.”
- Digitable Planets – Dial 7 (1994) “I wear Timberlands study in Timbuktu.”
- The Roots – Proceed (1995) “My Timberland’s are fully laced.”
- Lost Boyz – Get Up (1996) “Jeans sagging, Timberland tied-up.”
- PMD – Rugged & Raw (1996) “Stay gear with the Hilfiger, Timberland.”
- Fugees – Family Business (1996) “Troops with skully hats and Timberlands.”
- Wu Tang Clan – Duck Seazon (1997) ” Remember baggy jeans, the Timberlands in November…”
- Notorious B.I.G – Hypnotize (1997) “Timbs for my hooligans in Brooklyn.”
- Nas – You Won’t See Me Tonight (1999) “Timberland boots for girls, with the tree trunk.”
- Memphis Bleek ft. Jay Z – Do My (2000) “Black jeans and Timberlands.”
- Guru – The Anthem (2001) “I go from rocking Timberlands, to wearing Gucci.”
- Nas – Made You Look (2002) “That’s the way you get Timberland-Up”
- Beyonce – That’s How I Like It (2003) “Timberland boots, you does that-it’s a fact”
- DJ Khaled ft. Beanie Siegel & Jadakiss – Problem (2006) “Black fatigue, black tees and Timberland boots.”
- 50 Cent – Puppy Love (2007) “We wore Timberland Boots and Carhartt suits.”
- Fabolous ft. Jadakiss – The Hope (2007) “Fresh pair of Timbs, vintage pea-coats”
- Jay Z ft. Lil Wayne – Hello Brooklyn 2.0 (2007) “Black hoodies and Timberlanded always scheming you see the gleam.”
- Common – Start the Show (2007) “Shaking in they Timberlands”
- RZA – Try Ya (2008) “Stay black hooded, dunn, Timberland-footed.”
- The Game ft. Chrisette Michele – Let Us Live (2008) “In Brooklyn I rock Timberlands.”
- Method Man ft. Redman – Lets Get Dirty (2008) “Timberland boots, Air Force and shell-toes.”
- Lloyd Banks ft. Fabolous – Bring it Back (2012) “…put that on my Timberlands.”
- Rick Ross ft. John Legend – Free Enterprise (2015) “Show up at the wedding in my Timberlands.”