Can’t believe it’s raining again. What did you expect, here comes the rain. There is no other nation that moans about dreadful weather this much. That is why a true Brit should possess several raincoats, umbrellas and of course Wellington boots. Can this type of footwear look fashionable? Yes, indeed it can. Even Kate Moss and her Majesty the Queen are walking in Wellies. 

Hunters Wellies campaign

Hunters Wellies campaign

Kate moos in Hunters 2005

Kate Moos in Hunters 2005

At London’s fashion week the Hunter brand of wellington boots were presented as the “new” trend, kind of new.  If you see a model on a catwalk strutting in wellies,  don’t get suspicious. Hunter boots brand presented their new campaign “Another wet summer” at London’s fashion week. Summer is almost over, but it keeps on raining. Rubber rain boots have always been a necessity in Britain’s wardrobe. But we should go back to Hunters brand, who presented rubber boots, which are resistant not just to water, but also to clear smocks.  However, Hunter boots fashion story begins earlier. It was Kate Moss who first strutted in a pair of Hunters. Its was in 2005 at Glastonbury. She mixed things up with some denim hotpants. So this Scottish footwear brand was put on a fashion map by Kate.

Toady high fashion and wellies collide. Models walks in hunter boots on a catwalk. So how did this transfer of British footwear heritage into a global fashion market happened?  Hunters brand proved us that it’s not that difficult. Therefore Hunters, Burberry, Barbour and Mulberry clothing brands try to shake up our drizzling weather wardrobe.

Charles and Diane in Hunters

Charles and Diane in Hunters

Hunter’s fashion suggestions have a chance of succeeding. Alasdhair Willis is the creative director of Hunters and his wife is the infamous British designer Stella McCartney, while the global design director of Hunters,  Niall Sloan previously worked at Burberry. So big fashion names might be responsible for big opportunities to this rubber boots brand.  Better not forget the financial firepower of this brand, because in 2012 Searchlight, a US private equity firm bought a stake of this business.

A glimpse at the history of  Wellington boots and its fashion perspectives:

North British Rubber Company opened up its doors in Edinburgh. It was in 1856. Henry Lee Norris, an entrepreneur from America was the founder of this company.  It was a necessity to manufacture rubber boots when the first world war began. Soldiers needed practical boots that could withstand a flood in a trenches.  Time flew by and rubber boots necessities reached the entire world. It’s not just the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh who favors wellies, but also some Hollywood celebrities, like Sarah Jessica Parker and the Olsen Twins. It’s highly likely that you notice such New Yorkers strutting in wellies.

Whistles fashion

Whistles fashion

If you thought that high fashion is bounded by  famous clothing brands, such as Dior, Chanel or Givenchy, in recent years the situation have changed. There is a high street fashion that drawn some attention from the world’s media. Jane Shepherdson a former boss of Topshop hosted her first high fashion show with Whistles brand.

Today such brands like Hunters and Whistles have a fashionable so as commercial potential.  If they are associated with London’s or New York’s fashion week, it means they are fashionably validated. Even the smallest designer names can be put on an international haute couture stage.  If Whistles gained their high fashion name already, how about Hunters? Will they expand internationally and fashionably?

However not every UK brand makes such easy and successful transition towards global fashion market, like Burberry did. Mulberry tried to move upmarket, but they hit some bumps in the road. They wanted to become a full-scale designer brand and make a profit out of Asian shoppers, where prices starts at  £800.

It seem that the “Kate Moss effect” worked. Hunters are back on track to their former glory, even if they reached a collapse and financial crisis in 2006.  But how to make Wellington boots heritage relevant?  Hunters passionate innovations can only be put on a global fashion market by walking in wellies on a fashion week catwalk.