Hunter Boots and the Kate Moss Effect

The stuffy upcountry image of Hunter boots changed overnight by what has been dubbed the “Kate Moss effect”. During the Glastonbury music festival of 2005 Kate Moss was spotted by paparazzi wearing a pair of black Hunter boots in combination with short shorts, which created a new fashion trend almost instantly (2005 photos are from MJ Kim, Getty images):

Not long before that the Hunter company had already changed top management with a team familiar with running trendy fashion brands. The target audience was no longer the (middle-) upper class living in the countryside, they also aimed at younger generations looking for fashionable products. But Kate Moss wearing their products was not planned, and it was maybe the best thing that could have happened for the Hunter brand to put it in the spotlight.

Kate Moss had been going to Glastonbury festival for years already, and her outfits there have always been impressive. But it was her 2005 outfit that sparked a new trend, possibly because it was a combination of something functional for the circumstances and at the same time new and bold enough to make heads turn.

The combination above, with a dark waistcoat and chequered shorts, gives the impression of a trendy party-goer, which is completely broken by the pair of rubber rain boots. Especially the combination with the wide belt, which is not visible in the picture above but can be seen in her other pictures, draws all the attention to the upper body and her hips, while at the same time you cannot avoid looking at the high boots which break the silhouette completely.

The picture above is a second outfit from the same festival, but this combination with the long sweater, almost worn as a dress, does not spark much interest from me. While it looks comfortable I think she could have put a bit more effort in this outfit and should have considered wearing a bra. With this outfit the belt also puts the attention towards the lower part of the belly, which unfortunately for her does not look great in this picture.

From this festival onwards Hunter boots became popular with many trendsetters, who not just sported them on muddy festival terrains but also in foul weather in urban surroundings. The boots were mostly combined with skirts and shorts or with skinny jeans which got tucked into the boots.

What I personally like about the fashion statement Kate Moss made is that she combined the functional of rubber rain boots with normal festival attire. She looks generally trendy, and the boots are in stark contrast by their bulky shape and being covered in mud. It is almost as she was surprised by the muddy circumstances at the festival and last minute put on the only thing she had available to keep her feet dry: a pair of old rubber rain boots. She is not trying to make it look high-fashion, which makes it so trendy.

In 2008 she was back at the same festival, again sporting a pair of rubber boots of the Hunter brand as shown in the picture above (photo from Matt Cardy, Getty images). This time she combined them with a pair of jeans, a combination that was already mainstream by that time. Her total outfit does not really stand out, nor attracts much attention, which gives me the feeling she just tried to blend in and stay on the background that year.

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