I’ve always liked to run with the boys. In the first grade, I could beat them all in a dash across the 50 yard line. On rollerblades, I ruled the cul-de-sac. Somewhere around the 5th grade, biology made winning playground races more challenging, but it didn’t stifle the tomboy that lived within. I’ve always felt more a woman when wearing men’s clothing.
In the mid-2000s, when Mickey Drexler introduced Red Wing Heritage to the masses through one of the very first brand collaborations– a very new idea at the time, I took notice. Dating in the 2000s was a bit challenging for a girl who liked her guys in decent footwear. I swear, you couldn’t dance to 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” without having to hip check a guy in Ed Hardy and pointy dress shoes. (Let’s hope the kids don’t adopt that trend next.)
As Red Wing Heritage became a cornerstone for #menswear, it became synonymous with #tomgirlstyle– a way of saying “I don’t need heels to feel sexy.” I bought my first pair in 2012: a Classic 6″ Moc Toe, size 5.5. They didn’t fit well but I felt good. Meanwhile, the Engineer Boot became the “it” boot in Europe, and today you’re still hard-pressed to find a woman in Berlin who doesn’t claim these boots as part of her uniform.
It’s a tall order to harness inspiration from women who seek out brands made for men, and I’m thrilled the opportunity struck Allison Gettings — the fourth generation in the family that owns the Red Wing Shoe Co. and Director of Product Creation of the new women’s collection— as the perfect time to go the company’s archive and revive the women’s footwear line.
Red Wing introduced their Heritage Women’s collection last month, their first women’s collection since 1926, complete with 9 styles and 24 pieces. The collection is broken up into three categories. The Legacy collection, inspired by the line’s history. This line includes a stunning lace-up boot called the Gloria and was the first model released for women in 1926. The Core Collection features boots similar to what the guys are offered, including the ever-popular Iron Ranger and 875 Moc Toe, if you want to stick with the classic style without the blisters and break in period. Lastly there’s the Modern Collection which has a few more feminine touches while remaining rooted in menswear influence.
– Images courtesy of Red Wing Shoes
BY Kate Arends - October 18, 2016
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.