Timberland: out door shoe and clothing brand, founded in 1952

The origin

The story of Timberland began in 1918, when Nathan Swarts from Russia moved to New England and set up a shoe workshop. He is successful and, together with his sons Herman and Sidney, buys half the shares of the Abington Shoe Company. Their production is characterised by injection moulding, i.e. the technology that allows the sole to be attached to the upper without stitching, thus guaranteeing the total impermeability of the footwear.


First achievements

In ’73, the Swarts created the brand named Timberland (the land of trees). The logo depicts an oak tree.

In 1978, the company changed its name to The Timberland Company. In the same year, the first sewn moccasins appeared on the market, which appealed to all fans of the casual style. Shortly afterwards, in 1979, the company launched its first boat shoes. The best quality leathers were used to make them, as well as the 360-degree lacing system. The model’s hand-stitched construction made it durable and comfortable, allowing the shoe to adapt to the user’s foot.

Since ’91, the label has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Present in 88 countries with 132 sales outlets. In ’98 it made a net profit of $38.4 million, which was a big improvement since the numbers show us $29.8 million in the year before.

To launch the autumn 2002 collection of workwear, the brand chooses exceptional models. The protagonists of the first Timberland “Working Man’s Fashion Show” are the workers engaged in the renovation of Chicago’s historic Field Stadium. High-tech tailoring, water resistance, use of hi-tech materials and freedom of movement are the characteristics of this new collection, with garments such as the watertight overalls or the fur jacket with hood for polar temperatures. On this occasion, Timberland also presented a preview of some garments and shoes from the spring 2003 collection. The same year, it signed a licensing agreement with Marcolin for the production and worldwide distribution of prescription frames and sunglasses.

In the first trimester, revenues increased by +20% (USD 271 million) and net profit by +39% (USD 19.3 million).

The balance sheet was boosted by exports, which account for 49.5% of the entire sales revenues. Although footwear is the company’s strong point, the best performance was achieved with clothing and accessories.


Timberland and the italian market

On the Italian market, Timberland is present with 108 franchise shops, and has significantly increased its turnover in the country. In 2002 the figure was 72 million euros (+30%).


The commitment to sustainable fashion

Campaign Nature Needs Heroes Timberland


In accordance with its philosophy and brand identity, during the past few years Timberland has adapted its production processes to limit the environmental impact of its activities, adhering to a series of initiatives to respect the environment. A policy of social responsibility that has found an outlet in various global initiatives, such as Earth Day, a day dedicated to ecological awareness. Along these lines, in 2005 Timberland participated in the creation of the Leather Working Group (LWG) and began sourcing only leather from tanneries that obtained a silver/gold rating from LWG audits. It then introduced the Earthkeepers boot, made from recycled, organic and renewable materials.

In 2011, VF Corp, a group that includes the North face, Wrangler and Nautica brands, bought Timberland for $2 billion and strengthened its outdoor activities. In 2019, Christopher Raeburn is nominated as the brand’s first designer.

Christopher Ræburn, Timberland´s creative director


In 2021, Timberland launched its first rental collection in collaboration with the British platform Hurr.

You can also read this issue in italian here.


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