Everyone has heard of the Clarks desert boot. Founded in America in the 1950s. it has captured the hearts and souls (sorry!!) of youth subcultures for generations. Founded by Nathan Clark (a renegade in his own right), the desert boot came from a brainwave moment when he was stationed with the British Army in Burma. With his fellow officers wearing boots they had discovered in the bazaars of Eygpt, he got inspired to create elegantly crafted suede uppers with crepe soles which would be multi purpose and look good. Originally rejected by the Board at Clarks, Nathan took the boot to America where it was a huge hit with Ivy League students.
In celebration of the landmark 65th anniversary, Clarks Originals is using WhatsApp to connect the Desert Boots fans of today with key figures from subcultures of the past 65 years. From 30th March, numbers which will be broadcast via a teaser film on Instagram and other social media sites, guiding users to embark on a first-person journey into the story of the Desert Boot.
Check out some clips of devoted fans here:
Steve Barrow 1965
If it’s possible for one man to define an entire subculture, Steve Barrow would be as close as it gets.
He was The Mod. He would go on to inspire the youth of his generation to embrace new music, and through his finely tailored tweed suits and the Clarks Desert Boots on his feet, to embrace fashion. Add him on WhatsApp (+44781 492599) to hear his story live from 1965 and be a part of the coolest generation Britain has ever seen.
Bruno Barbey 1968
In May 1968 Bruno Barbey, Paris resident and Magnum photographer, was to find himself at the centre of a national uprising. Over the course of those few, tense days, he would go on to capture a series of photographs that would define a nation’s restlessness and encapsulate the spirit of rebellious youth. Add him on WhatsApp (+44781 491810) to hear his story live from 1968, from the debates with the heads of the Sorbonne, to the Clarks Desert Boots the students wore on their feet.
Meet 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? Add him on WhatsApp (+47841 495645) to hear his story live and direct from 1976. The man who left for England with a suitcase full of records, and returned with a suitcase full of Clarks.