The Timberland Company have launched a community-building initiative called the Boroughs Project, where they hope to inspire people to express their neighbourhood through design. To kick off the scheme five artists representing the five boroughs of New York City have been hired to each produce a Timberland boot that reflects their passion for their community. Keeping it close to home, the limited edition boots will only be available at selected New York retailers where they retail for roughly $150. The Queens, Manhattan and Bronx designs were launched last week, whilst the Staten Island and Brooklyn styles will launch on February 26.
“The Boroughs Project was created to help inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to express themselves through design. By partnering with local artists and designers we expect to really tap in to people’s passions for each of the boroughs.”
The designers for the five boroughs boots include:
* Jeff Ng, artist and founder of Staple Design, representing Manhattan
* The RZA, rap artist, producer and founding member of Wu-Tang Clan,
representing Staten Island
* Chris Mendoza, painter and line artist, representing the Bronx
* Atsuko Tanaka, world-renowned photographer, representing Queens
* David “Skwerm” Ellis, artist and film maker, representing Brooklyn
The next step for the project is to take it further afield, extending to other cities and communities throughout the year, and building their online design contest where consumers can express their community pride through any form of uploadable creativity, and rank the work of others.
“The whole premise of The Boroughs Project is to celebrate community and the spirit of self-expression…we’re excited to see how consumers nationwide express their passion for community, and also to see how their peers react. This new forum for self-expression will then evolve and grow over time.”
Interestingly this does not seem to be another company simply getting the consumer to do the designing for them within a competition framework (although they do plan to produce a limited run of boots from the winning entry which will be auctioned off to benefit a qualified non- profit organization of the winner’s choice), instead Timberland are cleverly involving community and creativity to help strengthen both the perception of the brand and their own understanding of the customer. And from the website it looks like a lot of people have already been keen to submit their creative interpretations and opinions.
check out the new website to see the Boroughs Project