British brand Hunter, best known for their wellington boots, launched their new collection in London this week. Using the London residence of the Duke of Wellington, Apsley House, for the event, Hunter really went for a lavish British experience to present their new pieces.
“It was really exciting to work with the family and also having access to the archives and the 200-year-old boot actually worn by the [first] duke,” said Hunter’s creative director, Alasdhair Willis of the experience. The new collection, called Duke of Wellington by Hunter Field, was presented at the earlier London Collections: Men’s shows, which wrapped on Monday and was created in collaboration with the Earl and Countess of Mornington, or Arthur Wellesley and his wife, Jemma Kidd. It is also a particularly poignant time for the project to come to fruition, given that this year marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, where the British beat the French army under the first Duke of Wellington—hence where the Wellington boot takes its name.
In contrast to their mainline collection, the new pieces are aimed at equestrian enthusiasts and feature riding boots made from leather and rubber. Specialised outerwear and overcoats made for riders complete the new offerings from Hunter. To round off the festivities in honour of the anniversary of the battle, there will also be a re-enactment of a famous painting that hangs in Apsley House, which shows the banquet given by the Duke in celebration of his victory at Waterloo. “We’re recreating that exact banquet with the descendants of all the people in the original painting,” said Wellesley. “There were no women at the original dinner, so my wife, mother and three sisters aren’t invited. We wouldn’t get away with this at any other time, but if you’re going to respect the tradition, you’re going to do it properly.”