Though both possessed with an insatiable desire to conquer uncharted territories and an adventurous, inquisitive spirit, explorers today and their forerunners from the past have vastly different styles. Sure, modern adventurers such as Discovery Channel’s fearless Bear Grylls and novelist David Grann who threw himself into the Amazon for his book, The Lost City Of Z, are as focused on functionality as early 20th century pioneering explorers such as Sir Edmund Hillary and George Mallory, the latter retained an orthodox, English sartorial style in their garb.
Taking the fusion of functionality and tailored styles to a new level in footwear, rag & bone’s fourth season of footwear drew inspiration from the clothing Hillary and Mallory wore for their historic Mount Everest conquest. Archival photographs show that Hillary and Mallory were outfitted in traditional English fabrics such as heavy wool tweed and treated quilted cotton, and these were heavily worn-in and distressed. rag & bone took the same look and treatment to its shoe collection, reinstating an old-world intrepid spirit into a contemporary and progressive line-up.
The collection consists of three groups of footwear, the more formal dress shoes, a more directional group of hand-sewn leather welt and crepe wedge, and burnished sneakers. The first group includes four classic men’s footwear silhouettes– the desert boot, the oxford, the 7-hole lace up and the ankle zip boot. These iconic styles adopt the durable good year welt and are meticulously hand-sewn in true English shoe-making tradition.
Classic two-tone brogues feature a mix of English waxed suede and Italian vegetable tanned leather to create an interesting depth in the tonal looks. Last but not least, rag & bone has also created a a collection of low-top and high top waxed suede sneakers that look brushed and have a rugged feel, reflecting qualities of American work-wear and fine English tailoring, just like the label’s clothes.
Albeit the fact that not everyone will be on ascents to Earth’s most obscure and dangerous locales, this is a collection fit for the urban explorers for whom traditional masculinity and class are lived one step at a time, everyday.