R.M.Williams opens new women’s boot production line

R.M.Williams today officially opened its expanded Adelaide workshop with a new manufacturing line specifically for handcrafted women’s boots.

The new women’s boot manufacturing line will enable the brand to locally craft a more diverse offering of women’s boots, in higher quantities, to meet the demands of its growing female customer base.

Designed by women, for women, R.M.Williams will now offer seven distinct women’s styles of Chelsea boots with a range of heel heights and types for every occasion, from everyday elegance and comfort, to stepping out at formal events.

As part of the investment, R.M.Williams today also announced new training opportunities for Australian craftspeople of the future. After successfully taking its first cohort of apprentices in the Leather Cert III course last year, R.M.Williams is now introducing the Industrial Sewing certification in conjunction with TAFE South Australia.

The women’s boot line will create 70 local manufacturing jobs. This follows an $8 million dollar investment in new equipment at the workshop at Salisbury in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

The new production line is part of a 13,500 square metre (m2) expansion of the brand’s Adelaide workshop, with increased capacity for leather craft, apparel and footwear repairs.

The investment means there are now separate, dedicated manufacturing lines for men’s and women’s boots handcrafted in the traditional R.M.Williams’ production process, passing through 80 pairs of hands, and providing increased capacity to produce all styles.

Tattarang Director and R.M.Williams Board Member Nicola Forrest AO said the company is committed to investing in sustainable local manufacturing and supporting new careers in Australian craftsmanship.

“As RM realised almost a century ago, women across Australia had equal need for elegant yet resilient boots and workwear that could withstand the rigours of living and working on the land,” Mrs Forrest said.

“Today we are investing in the next chapter of this history together with talented women in leadership positions working on every step of the boot making process, proudly making products for women by women.

“I have worn RMs all my life but today I could not be more proud of the direction our team and our company are heading towards.”

Tattarang Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest AO said R.M.Williams has already created 350 new jobs across Australia since late 2020.

“In just over three years, Tattarang has increased R.M.Williams’ manufacturing workforce by more than a third, with 500 people now employed at the Adelaide Workshop and Distribution Centre,” Dr Forrest said.

“R.M.Williams is the only Australian company whose iconic boots are made in Australia by Australians from one piece of leather – all others are manufactured offshore.”

R.M.Williams CEO Paul Grosmann said women are the fastest growing customer segment.

“R.M.Williams is a brand for all Australians. Women have played a vital role in the growth and development of this business since its inception in 1932, and we are passionate about giving women a diverse collection of quality products,” Mr Grosmann said.

“Also, the Australian women’s footwear market is larger than the men’s market and is also growing at a faster rate in Australia.”

South Australian Minister for Tourism and Multicultural Affairs and Member for Ramsay Zoe Bettison said the State Government is pleased to see one of Australia’s most iconic brands continue to invest in sustainable local manufacturing and supporting new careers and training opportunities in South Australia.

“The women’s boot line will create 70 local manufacturing jobs, stimulating employment opportunities in the northern suburbs. I am so thrilled to see R.M.Williams expanding again after having already made an $8 million dollar investment in new equipment at the workshop at Salisbury,” Minister Bettison said.

“Having already created 350 new jobs across Australia since late 2020, R.M.Williams today also announced new training opportunities for young Australians. This means more jobs and new training opportunities for the locals and all the young aspiring craftsmen and women who seek to explore a career in manufacturing.”

The R.M.Williams range of female boots now includes:

Adelaide: a feminine style, designed for both everyday wear and smart casual dressing.

Erica: a chisel-toe everyday boot also available in new season hues.

Lady Yearling: the bestselling R.M.Williams boot for women with an elegant almond toe and low block heel, now also offered in rubber-soled editions.

Maya: a statuesque silhouette with a 7.5cm block heel and tapered needle toe.

Millicent: a brand hero with 4.5cm Cuban-inspired stack heel and a sleek needle toe refreshed in seasonal shades.

Moriarty: an elegant flat-heeled boot offering everyday elegance and comfort.

Rosebery: harking back to the brand’s outback roots with a shape inspired by the traditional R.M.Williams Bushman Boot.

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