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Fashion Writers, Don't Label Timberlands As Something New

Timberland Classic Six-Inch Boot, exclusive to Barneys. Image via <a href="http://www.complex.com/style/2014/10/timberland-updates-classic-six-inch-waterproof-boot-exclusive-to-barneys">Complex</a>
Timberland Classic Six-Inch Boot, exclusive to Barneys. Image via Complex

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Elle published an article online this month breathlessly asserting that "Timberlands are the new Birkenstock" and that the boots are on their way to "fashion greatness" because all the "cool girls are wearing Timbs, from Cara Delevingne to Rihanna to Gwen Stefani." The article failed to mention any '90s era hip hop Timberland fashion moments, as if Timbs were something totally new.

This caused an outrage on Twitter, and that's how Elle found writer Chaédria LaBouvier, who just filled a thoughtful personal essay about Timberland's fashion resurgence and her own memories of wearing the workbooks. She writes of the original Elle post, "When I wore Timberlands, it was coded as being "ghetto," "hood," and all of the other pejoratives that short-circuit to "Black." But when White people wear them, it's "new," "edgy," and "trendsetting."

Everything '90s is back again, but don't forget to tell the history of the trend, LaBouvier argues. "I felt that the people who made it cool for Cara Delevingne and Khloe Kardashian to want to trade their Louboutins for a pair were being unnecessarily left out of the narrative. How can you talk about the sexiness of Rihanna's Timbs without talking about how much they were a part of Aaliyah's tomboy ingénue? Before we label Gwen Stefani's red Timbs (with the tag intact) pioneering, let's take a moment to acknowledge Cam'ron's much-copied pink Timberlands from 2003."
· Timberlands, Twitter, and Throwbacks: One Woman's Thoughts [Elle]
· Timberlands Are Here to De-longate Your Legs [Racked]