Timberland Appoints Christopher Raeburn as Global Creative Director
Timberland has tapped upcycling champion Christopher Raeburn, the designer known for transforming surplus stock and military cast-offs into snappy fashion collections, as its global creative director. Raeburn plans to apply his remade, reduced, recycled ethos to the American outerwear and footwear brand.
British fashion designer Christopher Raeburn has been named the new global creative director of Timberland, as the brand looks to strengthen its commitment to responsible design, and coincides with the release of the Christopher Raeburn x Timberland Autumn/Winter 2018 collaborative collection.
Raeburn will be a “key stakeholder” in developing Timberland’s global creative vision, said the footwear and apparel brand, and will be overseeing the design across all product categories, marketing and in-store environments, as well as “elevating the brand’s commitment to responsible sourcing, inclusivity and community”.
As creative director, Raeburn will partner with Timberland’s global product, marketing and innovation teams to “deliver a forward-thinking look and feel that pushes design boundaries while honouring the brand’s outdoor heritage,” added the brand in a statement.
He will work closely with each team to create a collection of Timberland footwear, apparel and accessories as part of the brand’s purpose to “step outside, work together and make it better” strategy. The first full collection under Raeburn’s vision, across men’s and women’s, will be autumn/winter 2020.
Image courtesy: Christopher Raeburn
“Timberland has a strong foundation in craftsmanship and innovation – now it’s time to elevate our brand vision through the lens of design,” said Jim Pisani, global brand president, Timberland in a press release. “Christopher Raeburn is a true visionary, who shares our ethos of responsibility and brings to the table a fresh, modern design sensibility. Together we will really push the boundaries of where Timberland can go as a brand, and we’re excited to get started.”
On his new appointment, Raeburn told Vogue: “I’ve been watching the Timberland brand for many years and have always been drawn to its commitment to be a responsible business. I see an incredible opportunity for Timberland to break out and put responsible, innovative design at the centre of the brand’s creative strategy. Timberland makes a lot of its products in a very purposeful way, too—to be hard-wearing, with a lot of longevity. I think it is a perfect match.
Raeburn will share his time equally between his own Christopher Raeburn brand and Timberland, and will be continuing to be based in his London studio, the company added, while also traveling frequently to Timberland’s global headquarters in Stratham, New Hampshire, and regional headquarters in Stabio, Switzerland and Hong Kong.
The appointment coincides with the release of the London-based designer’s global apparel capsule collection for Timberland, which debut earlier this year at London Fashion Week. In line with his Remade philosophy, each piece in the new capsule has been created from second-hand Timberland garments that Raeburn sourced and then meticulously deconstructed, remaking them into iconic, contemporary pieces and served as inspiration for the Timberland x Christopher Raeburn capsule collection. Consisting of joggers, a reversible anorak, a reversible hoodie and several other low-fi pieces, the capsule should provide a taste of what’s to come from the new partnership.
Each piece in the Timberland x Raeburn Remade collection features a range of eco-conscious materials including organic cotton and recycled PET (derived from plastic bottles), to minimise impact on the environment.
Raeburn established his eponymous fashion and lifestyle brand in 2009 with a sustainable focus in his design centred around three key pillars – remade, reduced and recycled, when few in fashion even entertained the notion of its need. This innovative approach of pioneering the reworking of surplus fabrics and garments to create distinctive and functional pieces is applied across his menswear, womenswear, luggage and accessory lines and has earned him multiple awards over the years.
As Raeburn himself has said, “hopefully, it is a sign of the times more broadly, too.” We couldn’t agree more.