The appeal of Blundstone boots comes directly from their utilitarianism. Like, the reason folks enjoy Blundstone’s shoes is because they’re typically laceless, nearly always weather-resistant, and quite hardy.
So, Blundstone as function? Definitely. Blundstone as fashion? Actually, yeah. The Australian shoemaker’s oeuvre is so singularly useful that it translates quite organically into a fashion context in the same way as Levi’s jeans, Dickies’ work pants, and Timberland’s own 6″ boot.
But Blundstone lives a secret double life, of sorts. In Japan, the brand is distributed by Shizuoka-based company The Seed, which has patiently repositioned Blundstone as a casually cool fashion-conscious footwear label that’s both true to its hard-wearing roots and, well, casually cool.
The imagery provided for Blundstone Japan’s Fall/Winter 2023 lookbook showcases stylish youngs in thigh-length coats, baggy chinos, and prep-ish hiking gear. It’s very Cool Blundstone, if you get me.
The interesting thing about Blundstone Japan, besides the fact that it devises aspirationally stylish Blundstone lookbooks, is that it also emphasizes unique models unavailable anywhere else.
It’s not terribly difficult to find low-cut Blundstone slip-ons nowadays, for instance, but only until fairly recently, you could only proxy the style from Japan. Some new shoe styles are also previewed in the FW23 imagery.
It’s all part of the well-explored mass appeal of Blundstone. If you’ve ever visited a college campus, art gallery opening, or, really, anywhere in America’s Pacific Northwest, you’ve certainly seen a pair or two of Blundstone’s signature pull-on boots worn in-person.
But Blundstone as fashion proposition is still novel enough that I’m tickled by the conceit, especially when it looks this good.
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