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.

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Desert London
Image via Prime Athletic

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CLARKS ORIGINALS X GOODHOOD

This season sees an exciting new collaboration between Clarks Originals and award winning brand Goodhood. Based on the Clarks Originals Wallabee, these limited edition styles feature the classic crepe sole with a contemporary upper design.

“I grew up wearing Wallabees through the British acid house era and it is a shoe I love,” says Jo Sindle, Co-Founder of Goodhood. “We focused on trying to stay true to the original and updating it with sympathetic details taking inspiration from the music videos of that era. The finished product is interesting but totally easy to wear and we know our customers are going to love them”.

““The synergy between Goodhood and Clarks Originals has always been very strong,” says Dan Newton, Group Head of Product at Clarks Originals. “They’re a fantastic partner for us, beautifully curated products in a wonderful environment. This collaboration epitomises Jo and Kyle’s strive to deliver classic products with a contemporary crafted twist, and it’s fundamental that our icons continue to be re-energised like this”.

Clarks Originals x Goodhood

Clarks Originals x Goodhood

Available exclusively at Up There Store and Cabinet Noir.

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LIMITED EDITION | Made in England

Clarks Originals Desert Boot Limited Edition | Made in England

Clarks Originals celebrates the 65th anniversary of the Clarks Desert Boot with a special Made in England collaboration which sees the Originals brand and the Charles F. Stead factory come together to create a handcrafted, limited-edition Clarks Desert Boot which heroes the artisanal skills at the centre of British style today.

After Nathan Clark stormed America with his revolutionary Desert Boot design in the early 1950s, it was to the highly-skilled shoemakers and tanners of England that he turned to produce the boots which would go on to become signifiers of cool around the world. Each of the 1,950 pairs – a number chosen to reflect the year when the boots first hit the market – of Made in England Desert Boots are hand-numbered and come with spare leather laces. The collaboration honours the unique partnerships forged by Clark, which are still integral to the Desert Boot 65 years on.

The original Cordova Velour suede which characterised the very first Desert Boot styles of the 1950s came from long-time Clarks collaborators, Charles F. Stead. Based in Leeds, England since 1895, the tannery is renowned worldwide for the exceptional quality and colours of its suede.

Available in Australia from 1st July 2015, the Made in England Limited Edition Clarks Originals Desert Boots come presented in collectible packaging containing commemorative artwork. Potts Printers of Northumberland, a family-run company founded in 1875 by William John Potts produced the limited edition boxes which also includes

With only 10 pairs available for purchase in Australia, these are set to move fast.

Exclusively sold at:
Up There Store
RRP = $499

 


Clarks Originals celebrates the 65th anniversary of the Clarks Desert Boot with a special Made in England collaboration which sees the Originals brand and the Charles F. Stead factory come together to create a handcrafted, limited-edition Clarks Desert Boot which heroes the artisanal skills at the centre of British style today.

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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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ORIGINS | Major Stitch and the Rudeboys

Meet Major Stitch, reggae icon and head of a group of rudeboys called the Spanglers who were at the heart of reggae’s birth in 70s Kingston.

At a time when status was king, every rudeboy in town had to own a pair of Clarks. But how do you buy British shoes when your government have banned imports?

The man who left for England with a suitcase full of records, and returned with a suitcase full of Clarks.

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