The small city of Red Wing, Minnesota is located along the Mississippi river and known for making some of the best boots in the world. Over a hundred years of producing shoes and still today the production is made in Red Wing to shoes worn be people all over the world.
By Henrik Malmberg | Interview | 2016-05-19
To stay relevant or make a name for yourself in the fashion industry it's usually about hitting the sweet spots when certain trends goes global, or even better start the trends yourself. Not a easy task and perhaps a recipe for your brand to eventually fade out. What you really need to do to maintain survive in a fast paced industry like fashion is two things: quality and a timeless design.
Easier said then done to create something timeless since many of the existing timeless pieces already have been invented. One of these pieces was brought to us by Charles Beckman in 1905. He started his own shoe company called Red Wing Shoes and had one goal in mind: to create truly good shoes. And truly good shoes he made. Still around today, 111 years since the start, is proof of how quality will make your brand live for a long time.
Beckmans focus was to create shoes that could stand the tough conditions that hard work meant. Once the workers liked his shoes, so did the army. Beckmans Red Wing Shoes became the primary supplier of shoes to the US army during the first and second world war.
The shoes popularity increased after the wars and more and more people chosed to work in a pair of Red Wing boots. Something that Red Wing Shoes took advantage of and started a mobile shoe sales service by going to peoples workplace allowing people to buy shoes at their workplace. Like so many other shoes, like Converse's Chuck Taylor and Adidas Stan Smith, the Red Wing Shoes began to grow outside its where they were supposed to be used. The quality of the Red Wing boots become known to people all over the world and soon you could see the boots on a regular guy walking down the streets on a cold November day.
– A pair of Red Wing boots goes through nearly 230 processes from the beginning of the shoe to a completed shoe. The making processes begins with the leather being cut out and then sown together to build the upper part of the shoe. This is all made on puritanical sowing machines, the same machines that were used when Red Wing were founded, says Anders Mortensen, CEO of Brand Unit which are responsible for the distribution of Red Wing Shoes in Europe.
And it's not just any leather.
– Red Wing boots are made from a quality leather from SB Foot Tanning Company and most shoes are made with a Goodyear Welt. That makes it possible for you to get a new sole when it gets worn out and thanks to that, you can own a pair of Red Wing boots a lifetime, Anders explains.
The possibility of being able to change to sole of the shoe is key to have your shoes for a long time. Since the sole is the part of the shoe which takes all the pounding so if you just take care of the rest of the shoe a simple sole change is all you need to make your shoes last a lifetime. The Red Wing Shoes has been around a lifetime and today is one of the most popular boots on the market.
– Red Wing doesn't try to be something they are not. They've managed to keep their DNA since Charles Beckman founded the company in 1905. The shoes are still made by hand in the small town of Red Wing in Minnesota and the making process is practically the same as it was when it was founded.
What Red Wing Shoes probably most are associated with is their iconic model, the Classic Moc. Designed in 1953 and with an immediate success and sold in millions to workers all over the world it is still today one of the most classic and worn boots. A pair of boots which protects from wet, cold and also helps you looking good during the colder part of the year. The boots go best with a pair of raw denim and a robust oxford shirt.
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