3 Questions with Blundstone's Global Product & Design Director

To hear a bit more about the details of the #150, what inspired the boot and what makes it so noteworthy, we caught up with Joe Carfora.

blundstone
Gear Patrol Studios

If you're going to add a new piece of footwear to your wardrobe, you best get something versatile. And when it comes to versatile footwear, Blundstone reigns supreme. Believe it or not, the legendary brand is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and is marking the occasion with a limited Anniversary Series #150 Boot — modeled after the original style with the brand's patented SPS Max comfort system and Classic Comfort contoured footbeds. The #150 also features a few additional flourishes to mark the celebration-worthy year. To hear a bit more about the details, what inspired the boot and what makes it so noteworthy, we caught up with Joe Carfora, Blundstone's Global Product & Design Director.

Buy Now: $205

blundstone
Gear Patrol Studios

Q: How do you pay tribute to such a classic design while still pushing the style and aesthetic?
Joe Carfora:
When we wanted to bring in a commemorative boot for our big anniversary, it was no brainer to look to our #500 design. We started with our iconic style because it’s what we’re known for, and what consumers love about our brand. From there, we looked at what features we could add without losing the essence of the boot — we haven’t changed it for 50 years for a reason.

For me, it was about adding premium finishing touches to add value and exclusivity to an iconic design. Elements like the rolled edges, exclusive gold pull tabs, bronze leather lining and the embossing at the heel really give that special touch and makes this boot such a collector’s item. I’m not sure I’ll be around to design our 200th Anniversary boot so I really wanted to make my mark.

Every time I design a new boot, I make sure that I’m looking to the history and heritage of Blundstone—our brand DNA is key. I’ve found over the years that once you lose sight of this, the results speak for themselves…people know what they want and love from us and we want to deliver that, even when we’re trying to push our traditional style and aesthetic.

blundstone
Gear Patrol Studios

Q: Where is the premium leather sourced from? Was it difficult to choose the auburn color? What other colors were considered?

JC: We’ve got a long and rich history of quality and craftsmanship, and a lot of that comes down to the types of leathers we use. All our leathers come from premium grades, so we know that when we produce a boot it’s the best quality possible. 95% of our leather is sourced from Leather Working Group (LWG) rated tanneries. LWG is recognized as the peak body that drives and accredits sustainable business practices within the leather industry.

When we were thinking about the color for the #150, we couldn’t disregard the fact that the Blundstone brand is synonymous with black and brown. It’s our bread and butter—we’ve always designed boots that are timeless and classic and can be worn with anything and in any situation. For this special, limited-edition boot, I wanted to find a color that would represent both of those hues, so that’s how we got to that rich, waxed auburn finish. The color selection also showcases the Tasmanian wilderness. For 150 years our designs and color palette have drawn their inspiration from our island home and I’m always conscious not to lose sight of that.

blundstone
Gear Patrol Studios

Q: What's your favorite premium detail on the #150?

JC: It might sound small, but for me, the most beautiful premium detail of the boot is actually the rolled edges around the raw edges of the boot (like the elastic gusset area). I just think it’s such a clean look and makes the boot look so luxe! For me, the #150 is a polished, fresh and modern update to a farm boot—which is essentially my Blundstone design philosophy. I’m so lucky to have such a wealth of archival design to draw from when introducing new boots into the range, and I always want to ensure that the Blundstone DNA is obvious to the consumer.

Buy Now: $205

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