August 21 2014

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150 Years of Frye


Jasper Johns' "Flag" and Frye's limited-edition bootsFrye, the oldest continuously operating footwear company in the U.S., turns 150 this year. To celebrate, the label’s creative director, Michael Petry, designed a limited-edition collection of boots for men and women that riff on Jasper Johns’ famous American Flag painting (above). “The Johns painting has so much depth,” said Petry, a veteran of Prada and Polo Ralph Lauren. “We knew that with our handwork and vegetable-dyed leather, we could get a boot to have that kind of weathered look and feel.” Antiqued and stained by hand, an Engineer and a Harness style also feature inlaid stars—a direct homage to Johns.

Beyond the new boots, which just went up for sale on Frye’s Web site, Rizzoli will publish a book in October showcasing photographs of many of the company’s most famous fans. A long-haired, sixties-era James Taylor, along with John Lennon, are particular standouts for Petry, but a black-and-white of Jerry Garcia was unearthed too late to be included. Also in October, the Discovery Channel will air a one-hour documentary shot inside the company’s Wynne, Arkansas, factory. New stores in Chicago and Washington, D.C., are in the works, and Boston just opened. The Newbury Street flagship was a homecoming of sorts; Marlborough, Massachusetts, the company’s birthplace, is a forty-minute drive away. Continue Reading “150 Years of Frye” »