R.M.Williams, established in 1932, is one of Australia’s most enduring institutions of style. Founded by a bush drover, the label has gone on to encapsulate the working spirit of Australians and is deeply ingrained in our history. R.M.Williams boots are renowned worldwide for their quality and craftsmanship. Imbued with a sense of the outback and quintessential Australian lifestyle, R.M.Williams has seen a renewed interest within youth culture and this season rehashes some of its archival styles with on-trend trimmings. We had a chat to R.M.Williams’ CEO, Hamish Turner, about this iconic label and why it is perpetually relevant to Australian’s of all ages and areas.
R.M. Williams is not a brand traditionally associated with youth yet we’re seeing more and more young people wearing R.M.Williams stuff. Has the company undergone any re-branding to extend its appeal to young people? The beauty of the R.M. Williams brand is that it resonates with people of all ages and lifestyles who are looking to emanate a sense of Australian style in the way that they dress.
Whilst we will always be representative of the Australian bush and its people, our market appeal is broadening, particularly to a younger demographic. Our Longhorn range, for example, provides a contemporary take on original styles for the younger generation looking for vintage authenticity.
The principles on which our brand was established – quality, authenticity and durability – underpin everything we do today however each seasonal range reflects the broader trends of our industry through colours, patterns or fabrics. This mix of R.M.Williams authentic and seasonal ranges is what makes our brand appealing to all walks of life.
The original ‘bush outfitter’, why do you think R.M.Williams appeals so much to the urban consumer? We are passionate about our bush heritage but we also recognise the demands of the urban market for quality and craftsmanship. We fulfill the metropolitan customer’s desire to encapsulate Australian style.
In what ways does R.M.Williams reflect an Australian lifestyle? A sense of Australian lifestyle can be found in the history of R.M.Williams. The label was founded in 1932 by Australian legend, Reginald Murray (“RM”) Williams. RM was a bushman, camel-boy, drover, grazier, horseman and businessman. He designed and crafted footwear, clothing and leather accessories for men and women who lived and worked in outback Australia. Over time, RM and the signature Longhorn brand has become strongly associated with Australia’s national identity, outback heritage and pioneering spirit. This is reflected through our core and seasonal footwear, clothing and accessories.
How can we mix R.M.Williams pieces with high fashion looks? The classic appeal and style of the R.M.Williams brand can be teamed with a variety of pieces. With classic cut shirts and pants for both men and women, handcrafted and custom-made footwear and a range of seasonal and authentic accessories, R.M.Williams offers the versatility to be mixed with high fashion looks.
What can we expect from the R.M.Williams offering this season? The theme of the R.M.Williams range this season is ‘The return of heritage – everything old is new again’. Archival pieces have been reworked with a contemporary look and feel, while maintaining classic style. The world’s finest quality luxe leather, sueded moleskin and Italian cotton has been used to provide the outstanding quality R.M.Williams is renowned for. The range has a distinctly Australian rustic winter theme with a warm palette awash with deep brown, navy, black, tones of green and blue and subtle shades of grey as well as bursts of vibrant red and purple.
What are the key looks for girls and guys? For men, bomber jackets, chambray / checked shirts, and slim fit jeans are essential for AW11. The iconic handcrafted 100% Australian made Craftsman Boot is available with new ultra comfort technology in vintage brown or a dark tan reptile print.
Bomber jackets made from premium leather are also key for women, as are classic striped shirts. A stand out piece is the silk Paris Creek Shirt in an off white/gold/brown with an equestrian print. We also have light indigo stretch denim and low rise black styles. Belts and bags are on-trend, rendered in pony hair.
Why are a pair of boots such a good investment piece? A pair of R.M.Williams boots uses the best quality leather. A light leather such as kangaroo polishes up like a mirror for a fine looking dress boot whilst a soft, supple cow hide leather can resist just about anything. We choose the best leather to suit your lifestyle. We endeavour to live up to our reputation as the best bootmakers in the world. Every pair of R.M.Williams boots is handmade at our Adelaide factory with a custom option.
How do you want customers to feel when leaving an R.M.Williams Westfield store? We want our customers to feel inspired, fulfilled, impressed and happy with the service they have received and the purchases they have made. Most of all we want them to feel proud to be Australian and proud to be representing Australian style.
How is the R.M.Williams shopping experience set apart from all others at Westfield? Friendly, welcoming and warm service is complimented by solid product knowledge and a real desire to assist our customers with looking and feeling their best.
Who are R.M.Williams’ ultimate male and female style icons from today or decade’s past? R.M. Williams style icons are derived from our Australian bush heritage: hardworking Australians that formed the backbone on which this country was built. Our greatest icon is of course the man himself, R.M.Williams, because of his strong sense of Australian pride in everything that he did.