PostClarks & The Art of Craft: Kerry Hooper

Established in 1825, we've got 190 years experience of making the finest quality shoes. Every now and again we like to introduce you to some of the people continuing our longstanding traditions in shoemaking craftmanship.

The last. It’s the foundation of what we do. Expertly crafted using super hard hornbeam wood that doesn’t shrink, expand or warp, it’s the last that determines the shape of a finished shoe. Exactly measured, lovingly sanded, filed to a perfectly smooth finish – the last dictates how a shoe will feel, how comfortable it will be to wear. Kerry Hooper was our first female last-maker – a milestone in Clarks history considering we’ve been making the wooden models since 1825. One of our Last Modellists, Kerry hones her skills everyday as a master lastcrafter – working with, and learning from, the best in the industry. Every single one of our styles has its own last. Each one handmade in Street, Somerset. Each one a thing of humble, refined beauty.

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PostHow to Wear: Chinaberry Fun

Keeping it short and sweet, we bring you our favourite way to wear this season’s retro beauty, Chinaberry Fun.

Soft, wide cut culottes walk off the runway and effortlessly into your work wardrobe. A simple V-neck tee creates a neutral base while the new essential bomber jacket in pretty pastel adds the perfect cover up. Fresh, feminine, yet gently tailored.

Proportion is everything with Chinaberry Fun – the toe is just square enough, the heel is just blocky enough and the vintage inspired trim stays just right. For subtle edge add a glittery sock – as recommended by December blog guest, Meryl Fernandes.

BUY – Chinaberry Fun

SHOP - Womens Workwear

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PostA Week In The Style Of: Jo Fenn

Hi, I’m Jo Fenn. I’ve been working at Clarks for almost four years now and I’m the Women’s Trend Analyst. This basically means along with my other trend colleagues in Men’s, Kids and Clarks Originals we put together the global Clarks creative direction for each season - including colour palettes, materials, key details and silhouettes. I then work with the women’s team throughout the shoes’ development journey until we hand them over to our buyers and merchandisers.

My degree is in Illustration and I’ve had experience in buying, merchandising, retail and wholesale selling before I joined Clarks, which gave me a good background into some of the complexities of our business, as well as a creative foundation.

The thing I love most about being a trend analyst is that we are constantly learning through all the research we do, so no day is ever the same and everything continually evolves – which keeps things interesting as I get bored easily! I get to travel a fair bit as half of my team are based in our USA office in Boston and researching emerging trends can’t just be done from our laptops, so that is always fun!

The blog team at Clarks asked me if I could share a week of my what I’m wearing - so welcome to my wardrobe for the week!

FRIDAY. Now these shoes I had my eye on for a while - they are from the Clarks Originals SS15 collection and I love the geisha style two-part platform! So cool!

There are loads of sandals that are being worn with socks, shifting our perceptions of transitional style – so even thought it’s too cold for summer style you can just add the layer of a sock to make it still relevant for now. It’s fun to make it a statement with a glittery sock if you fancy!

As for the rest of the outfit I’ve layered a decorative vintage light jacket with a plain black jumper, and some faithful dark denim high waist skinny jeans.

I hope you’ve enjoyed delving into my wardrobe for the week and maybe I’ve inspired some thoughts on sprucing up your outfits in this tricky post Christmas period!

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PostA Week In The Style Of: Jo Fenn

Hi, I’m Jo Fenn. I’ve been working at Clarks for almost four years now and I’m the Women’s Trend Analyst. This basically means along with my other trend colleagues in Men’s, Kids and Clarks Originals we put together the global Clarks creative direction for each season - including colour palettes, materials, key details and silhouettes. I then work with the women’s team throughout the shoes’ development journey until we hand them over to our buyers and merchandisers.

My degree is in Illustration and I’ve had experience in buying, merchandising, retail and wholesale selling before I joined Clarks, which gave me a good background into some of the complexities of our business, as well as a creative foundation.

The thing I love most about being a trend analyst is that we are constantly learning through all the research we do, so no day is ever the same and everything continually evolves – which keeps things interesting as I get bored easily! I get to travel a fair bit as half of my team are based in our USA office in Boston and researching emerging trends can’t just be done from our laptops, so that is always fun!

The blog team at Clarks asked me if I could share a week of my what I’m wearing - so welcome to my wardrobe for the week!

THURSDAY. This is another example of taking a dress I wear in the summer and adding layers to winterise. I have tons of simple plain black long sleeve tops which can easily go under dresses or be worn on their own, a necessary wardrobe staple!

Here I've added some great Clarks shoes I was recently given as a wear test, which is when we test new materials to make sure they are suitable, durable, don’t rub etc. We do a lot more tests on our materials and shoes than most other high street companies to make sure our shoes are the best quality they can be. And if you're lucky you might get to wear test a pair then keep them afterwards!

SHOP - Women's Shoes

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PostA Week In The Style Of: Jo Fenn

Hi, I’m Jo Fenn. I’ve been working at Clarks for almost four years now and I’m the Women’s Trend Analyst. This basically means along with my other trend colleagues in Men’s, Kids and Clarks Originals we put together the global Clarks creative direction for each season - including colour palettes, materials, key details and silhouettes. I then work with the women’s team throughout the shoes’ development journey until we hand them over to our buyers and merchandisers.

My degree is in Illustration and I’ve had experience in buying, merchandising, retail and wholesale selling before I joined Clarks, which gave me a good background into some of the complexities of our business, as well as a creative foundation.

The thing I love most about being a trend analyst is that we are constantly learning through all the research we do, so no day is ever the same and everything continually evolves – which keeps things interesting as I get bored easily! I get to travel a fair bit as half of my team are based in our USA office in Boston and researching emerging trends can’t just be done from our laptops, so that is always fun!

The blog team at Clarks asked me if I could share a week of my what I’m wearing - so welcome to my wardrobe for the week!

WEDNESDAY. This is one of my favourite jumpers at the moment. I love all the texture coming through in fashion right now, making outfits much more interesting. I've paired it with my favourite high waist skinny jeans. I love a high waist, it suits my figure shape and has a hint of a retro feel. Worn with the It trainer of the moment, the Clarks Trigenic Flex, which is a brilliant design, it looks great and is super comfortable and warm!

SHOP - Womens Trigenic Flex

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PostA Week In The Style Of: Jo Fenn

Hi, I’m Jo Fenn. I’ve been working at Clarks for almost four years now and I’m the Women’s Trend Analyst. This basically means along with my other trend colleagues in Men’s, Kids and Clarks Originals we put together the global Clarks creative direction for each season - including colour palettes, materials, key details and silhouettes. I then work with the women’s team throughout the shoes’ development journey until we hand them over to our buyers and merchandisers.

My degree is in Illustration and I’ve had experience in buying, merchandising, retail and wholesale selling before I joined Clarks, which gave me a good background into some of the complexities of our business, as well as a creative foundation.

The thing I love most about being a trend analyst is that we are constantly learning through all the research we do, so no day is ever the same and everything continually evolves – which keeps things interesting as I get bored easily! I get to travel a fair bit as half of my team are based in our USA office in Boston and researching emerging trends can’t just be done from our laptops, so that is always fun!

The blog team at Clarks asked me if I could share a week of my what I’m wearing - so welcome to my wardrobe for the week!

TUESDAY. I love this jumper, I picked it up years ago at a vintage fair in NYC. It’s over-sized – perfect for all those post-Christmas pounds you put on – and really comfortable and cosy, but it has a beautiful woodland design.

I always think it’s important to team oversized items with something fitted so these black skinny jeans are an obvious choice for me. Then for a bit of femininity I’ve worn these gorgeous ballet flatforms Timberley Craft, coming soon in our SS16 Clarks Originals collection – best worn barefoot.

SHOP - Womens Originals

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PostA Week In The Style Of: Jo Fenn

Hi, I’m Jo Fenn. I’ve been working at Clarks for almost four years now and I’m the Women’s Trend Analyst. This basically means along with my other trend colleagues in Men’s, Kids and Clarks Originals we put together the global Clarks creative direction for each season - including colour palettes, materials, key details and silhouettes. I then work with the women’s team throughout the shoes’ development journey until we hand them over to our buyers and merchandisers.

My degree is in Illustration and I’ve had experience in buying, merchandising, retail and wholesale selling before I joined Clarks, which gave me a good background into some of the complexities of our business, as well as a creative foundation.

The thing I love most about being a trend analyst is that we are constantly learning through all the research we do, so no day is ever the same and everything continually evolves – which keeps things interesting as I get bored easily! I get to travel a fair bit as half of my team are based in our USA office in Boston and researching emerging trends can’t just be done from our laptops, so that is always fun!

The blog team at Clarks asked me if I could share a week of my what I’m wearing - so welcome to my wardrobe for the week!

MONDAY. Post Christmas I think it’s always hard to get inspired by your wardrobe - you’re generally sick of your autumn winter clothes and all the fresh new spring summer collections hit stores, but it’s still cold.

Generally the answer for me is layering. This black dress goes with anything and with a polo neck underneath it can be winterised.

The hemline on this dress is also perfect to team up with these ankle boots from our Orla Kiely collaboration as although they have a patent croc emboss they are flats, so hit that all important smart casual feel.

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PostNew Year, New Shoes, New You

With the New Year comes New Year’s resolutions which often tend to involve some sort of healthy living. With that in mind, we’ve taken some key wardrobe staples including tailored pieces and a casual sweat with jewelled embellishment, and matched them with four styles from our SS16 collection to help embrace this season’s athleisure trend.

So whether you’re joining the gym or just making a few lifestyle changes and want to incorporate sporty influences, we’ve got the must-have looks to suit. And in the spirit of New Year's resolutions, we thought we would ask a few members of the team to share theirs...

Hannah (Digital Marketing Extraordinare) - I want to start making big pots of healthy soups on a Sunday so I can take it for lunch during the week. Healthy and cheap! I’ve been saying that I’ll join a yoga class for years… maybe this will be the year I finally do it!

Jamie (Web Analyst Wunderkind & Founding Member of office Green Tea Club) Condense gym workouts (which will probably involve less rest periods and less convos!) #GTC

Nude hues are on-trend this season and Cowley Faye and grab bag Miss Collins are the perfect combination to help finish off that athleisure look. Paired with a statement skirt and embellished jumper, Cowley Faye will offer a subtle sporty cue, while Miss Collins has enough space to ensure you have all your essentials. 

Taking on the innovative knitted trend within footwear, Glove Glitter provides a feminine take on athleisure. The black and white knitted upper compliments the rubber sole giving the best in barefoot comfort. Mix this slim profile with a tube skirt and oversized jumper for a comfortable casual look.

Tom (Operations Maverick) - I want to gain a road cycle racing licence so that I can start racing in proper competitions! And also eat a bit healthier, so that I can go quicker on my bike!

Jessica (Junior Visual Merchandising Visionary) - My 2016 New Year’s Resolution is to complete The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in under 12 hours. Hopefully it will inspire me to take part in the National 3 Peaks Challenge in 2017…

Switch up your office look with our sports inspired loafer Coll Island. A cute slipper cut has been combined with a cupsole for an eye-catching twist on a classic. Pair with soft greys and whites for a statement style. 

Office chic has never felt so comfortable. Mixing traditional tailoring with athletic influences, Damara Rose teams classic brogue detailing with a sports inspired sole. Add our shimmering shoulder bag Thirlby Heat into the mix and you’ve got the perfect outfit to take you from the office to the gym.

Natalie (Men's Visual Merchandising Marvel) - Outside of work I want to start something creative, perhaps a side project or just more time doing what I enjoy most. Life is too short after all!

Matt (Assistant Master of the Web & Fellow #GTC Founding Member) - To get back into more team based training – kickboxing etc - drink regular green tea (decaf) and do more explosive kettle bell workouts!

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PostSay Hello, Wave Goodbye – Swissted.com & Clarks V&A

 

Like a technicolour shot between the eyeballs, Mike Joyce’s Swissted designs scream passion for punk, and like Clarks, a penchant for reinventing a classic.

As we wave goodbye to our haute goth and punk inspired AW15 Clarks V&A collection and the Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition (which runs at the V&A in London until January 31st 2016) we catch up with New Yorker Mike who runs Stereotype Design in the West Village and has created album packaging for artists such as Iggy Pop, Katy Perry and Aretha Franklin and was invited to exhibit his Ziggy Stardust print at the V&A's David Bowie is exhibition.

Laying his punk heart on the table with Swissted.com he re-imagines old show flyers into hundreds of International Typographic Style posters. Here he spills to us on his passion for Swiss graphic design and punk rock. 

 

For me, the most interesting thing about punk was that it challenged the mainstream’s preconceived notions. Punk was all about thinking for yourself and rejecting the status quo and this really spoke to me at a young age. Things like punk, art, and even skateboarding taught me that there was something else out there and that I could do whatever I wanted to in life.

Basically punk rock and typography are my two favourite things. I grew up completely inspired by punk, new wave, and indie-rock and would later find that same inspiration in Swiss graphic design—more specifically the International Typographic Style. I always liked that these two movements seemed at odds with one another in that punk has an anti-establishment ethos and Swiss modernism is very structured. And at the same time there’s a common thread between the two—the Swiss modernists purged extraneous decoration to create clear communication, while punk rock took on self-indulgent rock and roll and stripped it to its core. So I thought it would be an interesting study to combine the two and see what happens. I really like how both art forms contrast and compliment each other.

It’s funny, I have a bunch of Swiss posters hanging in my apartment from the greats like Josef Muller-Brockmann, Armin Hofmann, and Emil Ruder and I could stare at these things forever where that might bore the hell out of someone else. I think it’s how minimal yet effective they are. They somehow achieve perfect communication through abstraction. It’s kind of the opposite of how things are done today.

I hope people are inspired to see things in a different way. I like that there are some people who love graphic design but know nothing about punk rock, others who love punk but know nothing about design, and then there are those who love both. And I think Swissted is a tribute to the true independent spirit of punk in that it shows there’s not one specific way in which things should be done.

 

Say Hello to our new SS16 Clarks V&A collection – Coming Soon.

SHOP - Clarks & V&A

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