R.M. Williams boots:
“You can screw them up and do what you like. You can’t destroy them. We hope they’ll wear a long time yet. These boots are made for people who are specialists. People who expect them to last.”
The R.M. Williams boot encompasses many qualities of eminence: attractiveness, stoutness, cosiness, I could go on forever. The point is; they’re a great pair of boots, and arguably as great a national icon as Warnie or Fev after a few bevvies. Today the R.M.’s (as they are affectionately known as) are indirectly owned by fashion giant Louis Vuitton and as of recently, true blue Aussie legend Hugh Jackman, who developed an infatuation for them since donning a pair in his award-winning role in Australia. Albeit, the brand’s glamorous ways today, are a stark contradiction to its beginnings.
The R.M. Williams boot was the fortunate consequence of Reginald Murray Williams incessant requirement for footwear that could withstand not only his laborious ways as an Outback farmer but also the arduous conditions of midland South Australia. The R.M. Williams style and more importantly its durability earned its distinction amongst the farming community and soon became a must have product.
Despite being designed and created for farmers, the R.M. Williams boot has found a surprising partner in a well-tailored suit and consequently, the R.M. Williams market has exponentially diversified to include the white-collared community. Moreover, its extraordinary versatility has made it appeal to the street and preppy style lovers who can proudly don boots with a pair of raw denim with rolled up cuffs.
Another great trait apart from the R.M.’s versatility is the flag. The flag, as it’s referred to, is stitched onto the above ankle cut off and bears the brand’s proud name and original head office address of 5 Percy Street, Prospect, Australia. Popular folklore has it that the reason the address was added to the design, was to remind farmers who purchased the boots on credit that a cash payment should be posted to the aforementioned address when possible. Apart from its ancestral symbolism the flags’ also double as loopholes to ensure ease when putting on the boots.
The once modest Aussie brand has now set their sights on global dominance opening a flagship store in one of London’s most prestigious shopping strips, Bond Street. Such ambitions, however, have come at a price, the main being the fact that the R.M. Williams Company no longer owns the brand, but rather by Louis Vuitton, who in the hindsight would know a thing or two about global dominance. Despite LV’s acquisition, the boots are still hand made in Australian factories to make sure that the durability that earned its reputation remains unclouded. Recently the brand has added bespoke booting to its list of services.
The effect LV is having on the brand is already notable, endorsed by men’s lifestyle publications around the world and a sudden augmentation in the popularity of the Chelsea styled boot has also been noticeable.
Head to R.M. Williams website for styles and information about their bespoke service.