Clarks Originals x END

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The latest in a succession of collaborators drawn to Clarks Originals and their reputation for iconic design combined with craftsmanship is UK-based clothing and footwear retailer, END.

Specialists in luxury men’s style and premium street wear from all over the world, END. has worked with the Clarks Originals’ designers to create ‘Black Diamond’ – a chukka boot inspired by the industry that helped shape the North East of England, home to the retailer’s flagship store.

Crafted from coal black leather and suede supplied by Charles F. Stead – the Leeds tannery that has been supplying Clarks Originals for more than six decades – Black Diamond utilises both sides of this premium double-faced bovine leather. The upper of this unique collaborative style has been made using a Clarks Desert Boot last and is combined with a Desert Trek wedge sole in black and silver stitching. Three eyelets, veg tan fobs and a woven heel pull are among the finishing touches. Black Diamond retails for $249.95.

This worldwide collaboration is available in Australia exclusively at Up There and Cabinet Noir.

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Introducing Desert London

Clarks Originals’ Desert London updates a classic piece of footwear design. Based around the original Desert Boot — a style that has equally spawned many imitators — the redesigned Desert London makes for a more streamlined and sleek profile. Regardless of the silhouette modernisation, classical traits remain including the Originals fob tag and signature crepe sole. Available in black suede, beeswax, cola suede and maple.

Grab a Pair

Desert London
Image via Prime Athletic

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Clarks Trigenic has landed

“Trigenic is a creative rebirth of a concept from our archive, combined with the latest technology and our understanding of biomechanics fused with sport DNA.” – Prad Indrakumar, the creative force behind Trigenic.

CLARKS ORIGINALS TRIGENIC PALE GREENCLARKS ORIGINALS TRIGENIC PALE GREENCLARKS ORIGINALS TRIGENIC PALE GREENCLARKS ORIGINALS TRIGENIC FLEX PALE GREENCLARKS ORIGINALS TRIGENIC FLEX PALE GREEN

Footwear in 1883 was pointy. Restrictive. Uncomfortable. So we created the Hygienic shoe, adapting its shape to mirror the foot and improving what they called ‘foot health’ back then.

For 200 years we’ve been obsessed with crafting shoes that closely follow the foot’s contours. We still are. And, taking inspiration from that Hygienic last – as well as what we discovered digging through our archives – we’ve designed and created an all-new shoe in which the past meets the future: the Clarks Trigenic.

There are three key parts to the Trigenic Flex. A new anatomical last, a footbed with integrated fit-sleeve, and a three-part decoupled outsole for maximum flexibility – following the foot’s natural motion.

We’ve used premium leather for the upper, veg-tanned leather for the footbed and neoprene for the fit-sleeve. And building the shoe on an EVA midsole – as well as Vibram rubber outsole pods – provides a superior ride and cushioning.

The result is a never-done-before fusion of footwear engineering technologies and classic moccasin construction. Centuries of shoe making knowhow distilled into a future-facing, athletic silhouette.

“We wanted to create something completely different,” says Prad. “I took the original concept and modernised it by making the shape asymmetric to match the foot. All the panels on the upper are specifically cut and angled to aid flexibility.”

Trigenic is available now at Up There, Cabinet Noir and Glue.

 

Pictured shoe: Trigenic Flex, Pale Green | Pics courtesy of Up There

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Five minutes with Highsnobiety

David Fischer - Editor-in-Chief, Highsnobiety and SelectismDavid Fischer, Highsnobiety and Selectism

Clarks UK take five minutes to catch up with the head honcho of Titel Media, David Fischer – Editor-in-Chief and Founder of taste-making sites Highsnobiety and Selectism.

After moving to Berlin some 10 years ago, David has gone from running a small scale fashion blog at university to growing a hugely respected media network of some of the biggest influencers on the scene. We travelled to his office for a chat and a quick ‘kaffee’.

How long have you been running Titel Media now David?
Highsnobiety for 10 years in 2015 and Selectism for 7 years. We are globally a team of 24 staff over five sites who serve trendsetters, early adopters, people that are up to date at all times with the latest and greatest in men’s lifestyle and fashion.

What are the differences between the two media channels? There’s some cross-over for sure?
The Highsnobiety reader is very trendy. He follows trends closely and adapts to the latest trends very early on. The Selectism reader is slightly older and knows exactly what he wants and his likes do not change as much over time. They are trendy, but appreciate longevity, high quality, lasting products. In many cases the Highsnobiety reader eventually becomes a Selectism reader.

What’s in a Selectism wardrobe?
A good pair of raw denim, oxford shirts, some solid cashmere knitwear, lots of premium basics. In terms of footwear he might be wearing a pair of Clarks Originals Desert Boots, Red Wing boots or maybe a pair of Alden shoes on a very regular basis.

How do you see the Clarks Originals Desert Boot within Sneakerhead culture? 

I feel like the Desert Boot is the one pair of shoes that the sneakerhead picks up when he decides to dress up or dress a bit more formal. It’s a perfect bridge between the sneaker and something a little more mature. Solid, timeless and still fashionable.

What’s your favourite item of clothing/footwear?
A well worn in pair of raw jeans.

What does it say of you?
I like to be dressed well, yet comfortable, ready for any occasion.

Describe your perfect weekend.
Wake up around 11. Check my emails, make sure all our sites are running smoothly. Go for a walk in town, do a bit of shopping. Go for a nice healthy lunch. Do some more shopping, meet up with friends for a coffee. Go back home, relax, check the websites again, check email. Go out for dinner with friends, go out for drinks to a nice bar. On Sunday I like to sleep long, have breakfast at home with my wife, and just chill at home, cook dinner, watch a nice movie or go to the cinema.

And on a Monday morning, what’s your commute like?
Berlin is actually still a great city for driving. Traffic is not too bad. I take the car to work.

How important is a story like Clarks Desert Boot and its 65th Anniversary? 

I think it is very important. One of the most iconic boot silhouettes, and so connected with UK culture. Also, I believe the Desert Boot, unlike most others, really speaks to several generations. The 20 year old sneakerhead as a pair in the closet, and the 35 year old architect as well. It is such a timeless shoe, offering it in a more premium version absolutely makes sense to me.

Highsnobiety

Is film as valuable to you guys and your medium as say photography and words?
A film transports an experience. It gives you a more personal, live view of sorts and therefore I think it is a fantastic medium that will continue to play a very important role in our market.

As strong players in the digital realm, what does Highsnobiety and Selectism do to engage with its audience?
We do so many things to engage with our audience. Through our site we engage daily with them, but mostly at this point through social media. We communicate through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and other platforms, to make sure that we catch our reader wherever he is active. We attend a ton of seasonal trade shows to interact with industry professionals and readers. From Pitti Uomo, Seek, Bread & Butter, Capsule to other big industry events, it is always a great chance for us to meet everybody in one place.

…And the printed Highsnobiety magazine, is it the same voice, more in depth?
Highsnobiety Magazine brings our digital presence into the real world. We were really overwhelmed by the great feedback from our audience. It is another kind of presence. We take great care when it comes to the choice of paper stock for the magazine and the quality in general. People appreciate that and collect our issues. Also the timelessness of print is really beautiful and a nice change of pace compared to the fast moving online side of our business.

Where can we get it?
The Highsnobiety magazine is available at fashion retail stores and concept stores internationally. As well as select train stations, news outlets and airports around the globe.

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1950 ‘Til Infinity

Clarks Originals Desert Boot

CELEBRATING 65 YEARS

Launched in 1950, Clarks Originals most-loved silhouette – the Desert Boot – celebrates its status this year as the Original Desert Boot. Modelled on a shoe made in the bazaars of Cairo and worn by off-duty British army officers.

Nathan Clark cut the pattern for the boot himself, but it got a lukewarm response from the Clarks stock committee. Undeterred, Nathan launched the boot at the Chicago Shoe Fair in 1949. A feature in Esquire magazine later, and the maverick shoe maker had a best selling hit on his hands – this radical boot was like nothing anyone had ever seen before.

65 years after its debut, it’s still crafted using the same techniques, including the ‘stitchdown’ construction and the distinctive slim line last shape and natural crepe sole of the original.

To kick off the celebrations, Clarks UK held a launch at their Regent Street store earlier this year, as well as a celebration of our heritage which is being rolled out globally. The International launch begins early July with the release of the SandSixtyFive boot. Only 150 pairs were made, so it’s set to move fast.

Watch this space for details.

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ORIGINS | Nathan Clark x The Desert Boot

Nathan Clark - Creator of the Original Desert Boot

Pure and Simple 1950. One year after its debut at the Chicago shoe fair, the Clarks Desert Boot goes on sale. Designed by Nathan Clark, it’s different. It’s unexpected. It’s Original.

It’s 1944 and Nathan Clark is serving with the British Army in Burma. It seems a world away from the village of Street in Somerset where his family’s shoe business is based. When he’s not on duty, Clark socialises with his fellow officers. He quickly notices that many are wearing simple suede boots with crepe soles. He discovers that the boots come from a bazaar in Cairo where the officers had them specially made. Clark sets about cutting out prototype patterns from newspapers. He is convinced that a version of these boots could become a new signature for his family’s 125 year-old footwear company.
Upon his return to England, Clark sources the finest materials and craftsmen to transform his idea into reality. Using a Nature Form last from the existing Clarks Guernsey sandal shape, his construction methods were ground breaking. At a time when most men’s shoes were made from stiff, formal leather it was almost unthinkable to use suede, yet Clark opted for Natural Beige 2mm suede from Charles F. Stead, the supplier which still creates Desert Boot suede today. Clark also borrowed the Guernsey’s stitch-down construction, a technique which gave the Desert Boot its distinctive orange stitching.
Clarks Originals Desert Boot Origins
The Guernsey sandal that inspired the Clarks Desert Boot.
YET, WHEN CLARK PRESENTS HIS NEW INNOVATION TO THE BOARD, THEY ARE FAR FROM IMPRESSED. ‘IT WILL NEVER SELL’ IS THE RESPONSE OF HIS EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBERS. UNDETERRED AND SPURRED ON BY HIS INSTINCT THAT THE DESERT BOOT IS THE STYLE WHICH THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR, NATHAN CLARK TRAVELS TO AMERICA TO PRESENT HIS INNOVATION.
The Desert Boot launched to trade at a shoe fair in Chicago in 1949. The style was picked up by the Fashion Editor of Esquire and America was quickly captivated by the Clarks Desert Boot’s deceptively simple silhouette and unusual crepe sole. The Clarks Desert Boot was declared as the world’s first true ‘dress casual’ shoe.
They soon grew popular across the world. In France, they became known as ‘Les Clarks’ while everyone from Ivy League students to Jazz artists adopted Desert Boots as part of their uniform.
The Desert Boot is now an established icon for subcultures in all corners of the globe. Its silhouette is set to define cool but smart style for decades to come. But the Desert Boot would not exist today if it weren’t for the passion, belief and innovation of Nathan Clark.

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ORIGINS | The World’s Most Travelled Shoe

Clarks Desert Boot - Vintage Advertising Campaign
Clarks Desert Boot – Vintage Advertising Campaign

CELEBRATING 65 YEARS OF THE DESERT BOOT: AN EXHIBITION AT THE MUSEUM OF BATH AT WORK

The Shoe Museum based at the Clarks HQ in Street, Somerset,  in collaboration with The Museum of Bath at Work is presenting the story of the Desert Boot in a new exhibition. The exhibition runs from Friday April 10th until Saturday October 31st 2015. Beginning with the origins of the Desert Boot which was designed in 1949 by Nathan Clark, the exhibition will tell the story of the people who designed the Desert Boot, the people who made them and the people who wear them. Visitors will be able to find out how the boot has been adopted by Jamaican Rudeboys, Mods and 1960s Parisian students alike, and was then reinstated as a British classic during the Britpop era of the 1990s.

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