Alasdhair Willis on Hunter’s First North American Store and Why it’s in Toronto
“We celebrate the elements. This is something we―the Brits and Canadians―have in common.”
If you’ve ever spent time in the United Kingdom, you’ll know its residents are as obsessed with weather as Canadians are. That helps explain why Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre will house the first Hunter location in North America, says Alasdhair Willis, the brand’s creative director. “We celebrate the elements. This is something we―the Brits and Canadians―have in common.”
Most people know the iconic wellington boot, but since Willis joined the company in 2013, the brand has gotten into lifestyle with two distinct lines: Hunter Original, for the fashionable, festival-friendly consumer, and Hunter Field, with its emphasis on technical products. “The Original boot, [launched in 1956], is the very heart of the brand and will always remain so,” says Willis, who is married to designer Stella McCartney and often described as one of London’s best-dressed men. “By expanding our product offering and introducing new styles that include rubberized leather backpacks, raincoats, pool slides and flip-flops, we have been able to keep relevant in a fast-moving environment and grow.”
Hunter Yorkdale will be opening later this month, but if you can’t wait, see below for our favourite online finds.