Timberland equips nature enthusiasts with all of the necessary tools for adventure, urging wearers to dive into exploration. Black pioneers and outdoors enthusiasts have upheld these sentiments for generations, creating community in outdoor spaces and reclaiming their space in nature. As an ode to these trailblazers, Timberland joined forces with the Oklahoma Cowboys Foundation to debut a new collection and campaign.
The Oklahoma Cowboys Foundation embraces a true cowboy lifestyle. Inspiring Black youth and students to pursue their curiosity in equestrianism and the outdoors, the family-run and community-based organization helps foster deep connections rooted in nature. "It is important to reclaim space in nature because it is an integral part of our ancestry. Our ancestors were mothers and fathers of the land, so our abilities are endless from an agricultural aspect. Black explorers need to activate the skills that are already engrained within them. Black curiosity is power," Oklahoma Cowboys founder Jakian Parks shares, "The new Timberland Black Pioneer Collection celebrates our community and is inspired by the outdoors, making this authentic.”
In this limited-release line, Timberland combines distinct brand design codes with touches of traditional Americana and contemporary African-American styles. From revived fan-favorite footwear styles to a robust apparel range, the Black Pioneer Collection tells the story of past and present Black adventurers. “With roots in the outdoors but finding a home in streetwear, the sauce of the pioneer boot has helped Timberland sit in both worlds: telling an American story of early Black pioneers and to help keep telling our brand story of the Original Yellow Boot,” Timberland footwear designer Andrew Townes shares.
The capsule collection marks the return of iconic silhouettes: the Premium 6-inch and Euro Hiker, featuring an added twist of shaggy green suede accents inspired by nature’s greenery. “We wanted the Timberland Black Pioneer Collection to celebrate Black people in outdoor spaces with the star textile; a jacquard resembling a sprawling forest at bird’s eye view and a leather that over time will become unique to the wearer on their own journey,” Timberland footwear designer Shari-Lee Whyte expresses, “When we look at the inside and accessories, you’ll see a topographical map print again representing the terrain, red laces to resemble outdoor hiking boots and a black sole to represent how we protect each other and hold each other up.” The range also debuts functional and fashionable essentials, including the Embroidered Tree Hoodie and Embroidered Pocket T-Shirt fit for outdoor adventures.
Together, Timberland footwear designers Andrew Townes and Shari-Lee Whyte crafted a collection that commemorates the legacies left behind by Black adventurers. To bring the brand’s latest line to life, organization founder and photographer Jakian Parks assisted in shooting the campaign in Oklahoma. Home to generations of Oklahoma Cowboys, the campaign imagery powerfully captures the southern state’s equestrian heritage and powerful sense of community created by Black cowboys and cowgirls. “Oklahoma Cowboys and Timberland share the themes of toughness, durability and community,” says Parks.
Carrying this legacy into the future, Timberland will also donate $50k USD to the Oklahoma Cowboys Foundation which will continue to provide opportunities to aspiring cowgirls and cowboys. The Timberland Black Pioneer Collection is available from January 25 on timberland.com, at the Timberland flagship store in New York City as well as select retailers.