Today is a day for history, something about this time of year makes me all nostalgic and I do love a good mini history lesson. I also like to know that the things I buy have some heritage, I don’t know why but it makes me happy.
I wanted to focus on Frye today. They have an enormous amount of history tucked into their perfect leather boots.
I looked at Frye’s website and they had this to tell us…
“On March 10th, 1863, John A. Frye opened the doors of a small shop on Elm Street in Marlborough, Massachusetts. The shoes he made weren’t icons of fashion or fanciful in style. They served a simple purpose: to ease the daily working lives of the hundreds of factory workers in that small New England town.
The individuals who wore the first Frye shoes were just like us: people who valiantly laboured, honing skill and craft, supporting their families and community. When homesteading sparked adventurous New England families to head west in the mid and late 1800s, many of those pioneers wore Frye boots along the journey.
In time, John Frye’s family would grow and, along with it, The Frye Company would expand. Each generation of Frye men dedicated themselves to the art and craft of shoemaking, creating new patterns, discovering new materials, and even inventing shoe-making machinery. Their fervour for the process of crafting footwear as durable as it is beautiful has been our company’s benchmark, ever since. And this dedication has helped us craft footwear with a long and illustrious history. Frye’s Harness boot is rooted in this tradition and continues to draw inspiration from the American Cavalry.
During a 1938 trip to Washington, D.C., John A. Frye’s grandson and namesake met a U.S. Navy Admiral who noted his difficulty in finding the Wellington styles he liked so much. As a favour, John agreed to make him a pair. Frye continued to fill these requests for boots through World War II. By mail order, the company supplied thousands of brave soldiers and pilots with Frye Wellingtons, known as Jet boots. Our boots travelled the world on the feet of American servicemen, from Normandy to Okinawa – even General Patton wore a pair…
The CAMPUS™ boot featured a bulky toe and chunky heel that came to epitomize the attitude and styles of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1975 the Frye Company donated a pair of CAMPUS™ boots to the Smithsonian Institution in our nation's capital as a representation of the era.
Despite our reach and success as a boot maker, our mission – to make the best-looking, hardest-working, longest-lasting shoes and leather goods – hasn’t changed since our days on Elm Street…”
All Frye’s boots are bench crafted and take a staggering 190 processes to finish. Each style is carefully thought through and materials are selected for their suitability, not cost effectiveness. Companies with that level of ethic and passion for what they do are few and far between these days.
The boots are favoured by some big name stars too; Naomi Watts, Liv Tyler, Taylor Swift, Norman Reedus, Mark Ruffalo and Selena Gomez.
Yes that picture of Norman Reedus was completely integral to the piece...not a gratuitous image at all...