PostCRAFT AND DATA

"The first step to perfection is the last..."

 

Although this may sound like a bit of a riddle, when talking about the craft of a Clarks shoemaker, this statement couldn’t be truer. Every single shoe that Clarks design starts with a hand-crafted wooden last that defines the shape of the shoe.

 The last is a hugely under-played element of shoe making – the importance it has to every single shoe ever made, the time it takes to create them and ultimately, it's what sets good shoes apart from great ones.

 A last maker’s craft is second to none. It takes up to 10,000 hours to become an expert last maker at the Clarks level – their skill is unrivalled.

 Each last generates 1,000,000 data points, helping us to make the most perfectly formed shoes in the world.

 

"Tomorrow's shoes today..."

 Unique craft and skill with innovative technology and data knowledge is what comes together to make Clarks truly standalone from any other footwear brand in the world. Clarks will always be about the shoes – our shoes define us, and set us apart. They are what we do best and always will be. Our passion pushes us revolutionise footwear, we invest endlessly to ensure our products are the best – from the technology that goes in to them, how they are made and the materials that they’re made with.

 2017 marks a year that promises to bring you great shoes, this is what Clarks are all about. We take the spirit of what is Clarks and make this a reality for all ages. A spirit of joy, free-mindedness and liberty runs through everything that we create, in hope that our shoes will also impart this feeling on to each and every one of their wearers.

 

SHOP - Mens shoes

SHOP - Womens shoes

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PostEngineered to travel. Designed to last.

Introducing the new bag and luggage range from Clarks – designed to improve functionality, as well as style, when travelling. Ideal for plane journeys, weekends away and even the daily commute.  

All bags in the collection, whether it’s a backpack, satchel, shopper or duffle, are made from premium quality leathers and canvas. Engineered to travel, designed to last. Ensured to withstand as much as what you have to. Available here now.

Clarks-luggage-rucksack

VIEW - All luggage bags

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PostThe perfect boots for Christmas in Somerset

somerset-winter-landscape

 

An after dinner walk across the rolling countryside is a big Christmas Day tradition for lots of families in Somerset. Never ones to be afraid of the weather, we do up our coats, pull on our hats and brave the wintry elements with the whole family in tow.

It's perfect excuse to get out the house for a little bit of peace. As well as helping the turkey to go down before dessert. The fields are usually wet and muddy, so ensuring you're equipped with the perfect footwear for the whole day is a must.

We've pulled together a small selection of winter boots for women and winter boots for men that are ideal for your festive jaunts over the Christmas break - helping to shield from the cold and wet, but also smart enough to wear all day long...

 

 

Women's

 

Glick Clarmont - Inspired by this season's Hiker trend with it's D-ring eyelets and fur ankle collar, lightweight, Cushion Plus technology for added comfort

Tri Attract - Winter-sport inspired, faux fur lining, flexible Flex3 outsole

Tri Aspen - Lightweight, waterproof, Gore-Tex® and cosy fluff lining. Clarks Flex3 outsole for extra comfort and flexibility

 

 

Men's

Mens-Christmas-winter-boots

Korik Rise - Waterproof, Gore-Tex® linings, heavy-duty outsoles, made from premium, pull-leathers, complete with a stitch-down construction.

Johto Rise - Pull-up leathers, stitchdown construction, heavy duty outsoles and sealed seams. Waterproof and warmlined Gore-Tex®

Sawtel Hi - Clarks Polyveldt construction, premium, full-grain leathers, hand-stitched design details, warmlined option available

 

 

SHOP - All Womens Boots

SHOP - All Mens Boots

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PostWhere ever you’re going, we’re going your way. The perfect gift…

Christmas-Gift-Guide-Mens-gifts-womens-gifts-kids-gifts

Enjoy the journeys. Long and short. The journeys that end in friends together. The journeys home to where your heart is. The journeys in to the great outdoors. Enjoy them all with your choice from our festive collections.

 

This festive season, no matter what type of celebrations you’re having, or where you’re going to have them, Clarks are with you. We’ve got a whole range of party styles, for Men, Women and Kids. As well as a wide selection of perfect gift items, including high quality Slippers and Bags. Have a browse through our slippers, bags, party shoes – even have a read of last week’s blog post that review’s our editor’s party season picks.

Whatever the gift, whenever the occasion, wherever the place, find something perfect here.

 

 

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PostIntroducing Swinley

 

Some styles never go out of fashion, but with our knowledge of craftsmanship and materials, we can give classic silhouettes a modern edgeUsing a hand-carved wooden last for exquisite form and with an innovative sole construction that uses the Blake Rapido method, our Swinley range is the perfect example.

 

 

With four iconic profiles and one ankle boot, these formal shoes provide a sharp, handsome look. Attention to detail is key which is why we use leather linings for a luxurious feel whilst the uppers are crafted from premium black leathers.

 

 

No matter what the occasion, leave a lasting impression with our Swinley group.  

 

SHOP - Swinley

SHOP - Men's Smart Shoes

DISCOVER The Black Edit

 

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PostClarks Blog Meets…Architect & Designer Bart Eyking

Lucky us. Award-winning architect and interior designer Bart Eyking has recently relocated from the Netherlands to London to set up his EYKING office, and a signature furniture line. Combining a passion for art and antiques alongside his design and build studio, Bart continues what he has in the past identified as ‘a good British tradition’ – creating a link between inspirational exteriors, and stunning, liveable interiors.

The Clarks Blog caught up with Bart to find out more about his design passions and philosophy, plus the gorgeous hunks of marble that are his Upside Downs table series. And he enlightens us on why furniture is to interiors, what underwear is to haute couture.

Tell us a little about your design approach and how you started?

I’m classically trained as an architect and I kind of got into interiors by accident. When my former business partner and I started our first office together in Holland we got an opportunity for a pitch with a big interior, and we thought we would be crazy if we didn’t pick it up. We won that pitch without any experience, just with ideas. But I design interiors much the same, very much like an architect. It’s really about one vision or one big idea for a whole interior and then within certain limits or design rules you try to variate between the different functions within it.

The client is the most important element in the whole equation. You have to grow a little bit older to understand that you need to listen more than you have to draw! You must also read between the lines for what is not said, and for the constraints of the interior that you have to work on.

You can have a lot of talent – but that doesn’t make you a good designer. By putting in all the hours, then you actually become a designer. I mean, you can think of yourself as the best alive but if nobody recognises it, it’s a pretty lonely existence! And you end up crazy!!

It is very important to take lots of projects and work with other people to really get to grips with it. You can be lucky when you’re young and you can make something beautiful - because a table doesn’t talk back, right! There are a lot of fantastic young UK product designers, but if you look at interior designers they’re all 40-plus. It just takes way more time to master something. And over time you become incredibly humbled by all these people who have been working, say, with wood for 20 years and they can tell you everything about it. You start appreciating a Hermès handbag in a completely different way, or a pair of handmade shoes. You become very aware of all these things. But that’s a bit more philosophical. To show the beauty and the force of the nature in the project, and let that speak – it is very intriguing. 

I also think a lot of designers and architects are stubborn people as there is already so much stuff so why on earth would you think that what you do makes a difference right, so you have to be quite high up your own horse. It’s true!

So do most of your ideas come from a place of need or just from something that inspires you?

Yes…or from something that I’ve seen or something where I’ll think, ‘I would like to have that’. For example, when we started the furniture company we were making a very big restaurant for a law firm and we wanted tables that could just go on and on and on without you seeing that there was a cut in them. You could order sets of tables of 3 metres and put them all together, but that was not what we wanted. So in the end you end up looking at the budget and thinking, well, for that amount of money why don’t we make something ourselves? And that approach comes back constantly – you’re looking for something and it’s just not there. 

It was the same principle in designing the side tables for Meryl (the Upside Downs). It’s a completely different approach to a lot of other furniture designers who are commissioned by big companies. Another example is, I’ve been walking around with an idea for a mirror for three years and now I think I have found the people who can produce it! Because that’s another issue. It took us two years to develop lamps in our collection because basically there was no one producer who could help us. In the end you have three or four producers and we have to get all the parts in a box and put the manual in and send it off! 

So collaboration and finding the right people to work with is important?

It’s completely crucial I think. You learn a lot from other people, about looking at the other side, and what the options are. Otherwise you’re not getting the full picture. And that’s why clients are also fantastically important. They encourage you to do things you wouldn’t even have thought about – they push your boundaries. You know, at the end of the day I’m still a guy. I enjoy cooking, but 9 times out of 10 I make a kitchen without a cupboard for the vacuum cleaner!? It’s a stupid example you know, but I made that mistake twice! And you must have these practicalities. Storage is never-ending – especially in London, storage is always a problem. Half of the time I’m drawing cupboards! I have them coming out of my nose…

Do you think people have become more design conscious? Are there differences between the UK and Holland?

Definitely – I think if you compare it to 10 years ago, it’s really growing in the UK, especially if you see the amount of design stores that are popping up in London. There’s a very nice Dutch tile brand named Mosa, and they’ve just opened up a flagship store, and a lot of Italian furniture brands opened showrooms recently.

I find that British clients are still slightly traditional or they’re über-modern, you know. It’s either Norman Foster or William Morris. For their interiors here in London people will spend a lot of money. I find that the Brits I work for want more quality in what they have. I think in the 80s and 90s people did up houses pretty badly with a lot of DIY-ing and a lot of cheap products. So basically a lot of jobs are gutting it out, cleaning it up and building it up again.

In Holland we have a big contingent of middle-60s to stark 90s new dwellings, and now there are a lot of other national building projects going on. I’m designing a family house in a small pocket like that. There are a lot of rules and constraints – it’s like a Grade II listed area in the UK – but it’s fun.

Tell us about some of your favourite projects – you worked on London restaurant Oldroyd with Tom Oldroyd and Meryl Fernandes?

We did Oldroyd with the three of us, it was great. The thing is, if people are inspired and they want to go for quality – it almost always works. Especially with the restaurant, it was easy to work with them. It’s always great when someone has a lot of experience of cooking and of how a kitchen works. So it was like, why don’t you carve out the space you need for the kitchen and tell me what else you want and I’ll make you some drawings and see if it fits or not. 

One of the main things of course was, the restaurant is very small downstairs and that’s a negative and a positive – the positive is that it very quickly becomes very cosy, and that’s amazing. We really wanted that feeling and I think we succeeded.

In terms of the Upside Downs – I love the table. A coffee table can be horrible, it’s like a television! People always make the mistake of hanging the television first and then make the decision of how they want to sit in their living room – which is completely wrong! You shouldn’t think about the TV. You should start by thinking about the layout of your living room and then when you know where is the best place to sit, you can think about hanging a TV – there’s the tip of the week! 

Sometimes I sit with people and I think ‘Why is everything so unhandy!’ Obviously it’s very handy to put a cup of coffee on the table if you’re sitting and reading a book or watching the TV, or to put a bowl of apples on it. But I never understood why it should be in the middle. Then of course as a designer you think it should be part of some sort of a series – a coffee table, and a side table.

I’m fascinated with marble, and the more expensive stones. I was walking around with this idea and thought it would be so nice to have this block of marble that just floats, and you could put something else against it –because everything looks so incredibly pretty against a block of marble. A golden tool of designing of course is that you can buy almost everything from Ikea – but with a few good pieces or a few antique pieces that are really genuinely you, you can lift up the entire interior. It doesn’t have to cost anything. I like that principle myself and I’m happy for my pieces to mix and match.

Furniture is a good way to stand out from the crowd, or people to relate to and pick up on your work. It’s like underwear for haute couture! It’s your way to get more noticed and to move towards better work. 

So the Upside Downs are currently sold in Meryl’s East London shop, thethestore where she handpicks everything and features lots of independent designers. How important is it to you where they are sold?

That is key. It’s collaborative again, and I think that is very good! I get feedback from her and her customers – and I can brainstorm things that may come next. I said to Meryl, ‘We’ll embark on this journey for a long time and we’ll just do this!’ 

Finally, thank you so much for styling yourself up today in your trusty Clarks Desert Boots – sum up what you love and appreciate about them from a design perspective?

They are a fantastic example of, at the time, using the techniques available – you can just tell it’s a very smart design. Just one or two pieces of leather, four lace-holes and a beautiful cut – that’s it! Lots of other shoe styles have been built out of it but the Desert Boot still remains the better shoe…

Find out more about EYKING.

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PostBlog Loving: Jordan Bunker

We love catching up with blogger Jordan Bunker.

Fashion student and culture vulture, it amazes us how he finds time-out from grafting away at his final dissertation to capture his gorgeous lifestyle photography.

Jordan’s also been getting the best out of our SS16 collections – check out these shots from his Instagram feed. Our Clarks Originals Desert London adds pared back cool to Jordan’s on-campus uniform, while our redefined Chelsea boot Chilver Top softens an all-black London look.

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PostClarks Musto

Our successful collaboration with MUSTO, world leaders in sailing apparel, continues this summer. MUSTO’s marine expertise combined with over 190 years of our shoe-making heritage, delivers a concise range of high-specification sailing footwear. Laden with technical innovation to provide unparalleled grip, drainage, stability, underfoot feel and fit – this uncompromising collection is expertly engineered for top levels of performance, and has received extreme testing. Resolutely stylish – as at home in the harbour as it is on deck – the Clarks and MUSTO range of sailing footwear cannot fail to impress.

 

Brand new for SS16, Tri Lite is a super-lightweight performance sailing shoe. Engineered to offer superior comfort and underfoot stability, Tri Lite has strategically positioned, siped Rock rubber pads on the flexible outsole that will give unrivalled grip in wet conditions. Tri Lite utilises Clarks Aqua DX water drainage system – channels concealed inside prevent water from collecting – while the bold, antimicrobial Agion treated upper is quick-drying, and enhances the striking technical look of this agile sailing style.

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PostClarks Does Kitchen Confidential with Tom Oldroyd

Pop into Oldroyd – London chef Tom Oldroyd’s eponymous restaurant – on a random Tuesday afternoon and you’ll find a hive of activity. Staff banter as they swing through, bookings for the evening’s service are being confirmed over the phone (all good), while Tom demonstrates how to make Malfatti, the little gnocchi-style dumplings he’s expertly fashioning in the kitchen.

We caught up with him over a cup of tea to chat about his passion for cooking, the stellar journey from a Guildford childhood via Venice and Soho to his own Islington joint – and why calm and comfort are essential for a chef.

Tell us a bit about your ‘chef’s journey’? I sort of, fell in love with restaurants when I was about eight years old. Our family friend used to take us to a posh hotel for New Year’s eve and it was silver service. I was very, very young and I just remember thinking, “Wow”.

I left school – maybe a bit prematurely – and went straight into working front-of-house in a hotel. Then I went travelling for a year and fell in love with food and the cooking of food. When I came back I decided to go to university, and I started cooking in the training restaurant there. I thought, right, if I’m going to open my own place I want to know how the kitchen works, so I’m going to become a chef and move to London. I got a job at Alistair Little on Frith Street in Soho – which is now Hoppers – and I worked there for 3 years, with Juliet Peston – a fantastic chef. I worked my way up through the kitchen, initially doing prep – a bit of peeling this and chopping that – and then I was making the bread and desserts. Soon I was running the sections, and towards the end I was the Head Chef. I was 21.

"I was always quite confident with it, but there’s always a bit of you that thinks, “I’m not fully trained to do it”. I wasn’t a trained chef, so no-one ever showed me the classic ways of doing things. But I was so excited by it that I just carried on going. I just went for it. "

While I was working at Alastair Little a couple of guys who used to eat there a lot got in touch, as they wanted to open a restaurant. That was Russell Norman and Richard Beatty of Polpo. I jumped at the chance – and it was a great experience. We went and did research in Venice and then we opened Polpo, a little Italian place on Beak Street. I was Head Chef and wrote the menus. 

Over five years we opened nine restaurants – including another Polpo in Covent Garden, Spuntino, which is like an American diner, and Mishkin’s, a Jewish deli. It certainly kept me on my toes!

I ended up having about 100 chefs working with me, and it became time to step back a little bit, hone it in and do my own thing. That was always the plan. We’d opened Polpo Notting Hill and we’d written the book, the Polpo cookbook. By that point, I’d done my bit.

So tell us about Oldroyd. The restaurant has been described as “One of the best new openings of the year“, and “The neighbourhood restaurant we all wish we had” – does it feel like that to you? It does. After Polpo I took a year out to decide what to do. There was that pressure to do something different. But what I realised was different was what people weren’t doing – I think the classic restaurant was missing slightly.

So, in July 2015 we opened Oldroyd on Upper Street, Islington. I love Soho – that was my playground – but this restaurant works better here because we have a lot of residents. We get a good mix of locals and people who travel to us as a destination – we’re quite close to the City, so we get city folk rocking up in a black cab!

It was quite instinctual to develop my own style. I’d always cooked Italian food, loved Italian food, that’s what I’d always done – but swaying slightly to French, and slightly to Spanish, was easy. It was the food I liked eating.

And is it still about the food for you? Yes, it’s the most important thing. What do they say, ‘You go for the food but you go back for the service’? Which is kind of true – the look of the place is really important, and the feel, and the service is really important. But the food is number one.

When we met your fiancée Meryl (presenter & entrepreneur, Meryl Fernandes) she mentioned that you wanted to create the kind of place you’d like to eat in? Yes. When we first met, I think one of our first conversations was about restaurant lighting! She’s been hugely involved – she was the one who made it happen. It was all our own money going into Oldroyd, so we wanted it to be ours, to put our look and stamp on it. 

We both wanted blue for the interior. And we love plants and we love wood, and I knew I wanted the banquettes around. Meryl put it together – she had the look set in her head, and I trust her absolutely.

We did it on quite a tight budget. It took about two, three months to get it open. All the parents and friends, everyone had a paintbrush. I got tennis elbow from painting this room! My Mum upholstered the chairs, and me and my Dad put the kitchen in. I drew it all out and measured it and measured it again. It was satisfying when it was done, but stressful!

The light fittings (from Flos, designed by Michael Anastassiades) – I think they were the first thing we ordered and they turned up on the day of opening. So everything was ready to go but we had no lights!? We stocked up on candles just in case, but the lights turned up and the customers were coming in as the electrician was finishing them off. 

So do you collaborate on menus with your team? Oh absolutely. We all chip in. I love designing and building kitchens, and I love designing menus. So those two together for me, it’s great. You’re always learning – I’m still learning now, all the time. The chef here teaches me stuff and hopefully I teach him stuff. When I first started out I didn’t have time to eat, I was just cooking all the time, but I visit a lot of restaurants and eat out a lot now.

And do you source locally? Our suppliers help write the menu too, because we’ll give them a call, they’ll call us weekly, and we’ll test what’s good. We use British everything as much as possible – there’s a lot of really interesting British charcuterie that’s happening, so we use all British charcuterie, and all British cheeses because I think they’re great. I cook now about three times a week so I can keep in touch with how the kitchen’s working and how the restaurant’s working, and who’s eating what, why and when.

How do you describe your kitchen style? We have a very relaxed atmosphere – well it has to be, it’s all open! There can’t be any screaming and shouting. I think it reflects in the food. I think you can taste whether something’s been cooked with confidence or not, or what a chef’s mindset is while they’re cooking – if they’re nervous, or tense, or angry.

I don’t think there’s really a place for sweary shouting, I’ve never worked like that. A kitchen has to be a really disciplined place – it’s quite dangerous, there are knives, there’s hot oil – there’s no messing around. We’re a good little team, there are about 15 of us. We had our first staff party a few weeks ago with a bit of karaoke – great fun. We’re a bit of a family here.

And what about your everyday style? What’s important to you? You’ve chosen a pair of Chilver Hi GTX from our SS16 men’s collection? What is it you like about them? Comfort’s important – I’m on my feet a lot. I could be in the kitchen, I could be running around town, I could be running up the road to buy lightbulbs! So, comfortable shoes, all of it is quite comfortable generally. Actually I wear my jeans in the kitchen, and just a T-shirt and an apron. Anything quick, easy and casual.

I love a boot – I wore a pair of boots for quite a while, every day, and put a hole in the bottom – I wore them out basically! That’s quite me if I find something I like. I like this boot, it’s a clean look. I don’t particularly like fussy stitching or anything – however I do love a brogue. But I thought, why not a boot? I like the Chilver Hi, it’s clean, smooth, not too much detail.

"I love a boot – I wore a pair of boots for quite a while, every day, and put a hole in the bottom! I like the Chilver Hi GTX, it’s clean, smooth, not too much detail."

So what are your plans for the future? More restaurants? Absolutely at some point, but we’re not thinking about it at the moment. We’re seven months old here, I think we’re up and running now – and we’re having a great time! I’ve been really, really pleased – we’ve had great reviews and local feedback, plus we’ve got a great team and we’re building great menus. At some point we’ll definitely look at something else. But we’re not in a rush.

I have always been quite focused with everything – I worked constantly growing up. And I enjoyed it. I wanted to learn as much as possible, so if I wasn’t working I’d be reading. Or on my day off I’d be watching Food Network all day, or shopping – I just surrounded myself with food. Thinking back to that posh hotel with our family friends – it was like a theatre, I loved the show of it all. I fell in love with it then. And I still feel that way now. My life took a path and I feel very lucky to do what I love doing every day.  

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PostKai & Sunny – Whirlwind of Time

Artists, collaborators and Clarks Originals obsessives Kai & Sunny recently opened their latest exhibition Whirlwind of Time at the StolenSpace Gallery, London. Past collaborations for the pair include prints for Nike and Alexander McQueen, while one of their first commissions was for the cover of the novel Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

Mitchell has written an exclusive short story for a Limited Edition artwork in the exhibition, and the packed opening night attracted a visit from Levi Maestro, in town for a few days to film the installation for his online show, Maestro Knows.

We caught up with Kai to chat through the artists’ process, projects and inspiration.

Tell us a bit about both your backgrounds? You met at art school – what made you work together as a partnership?

When we graduated from Epsom School Of Art I went to work for Mo' Wax Records designing record covers under Ben Drury and Sunny went off to work as a print designer at the clothing brand Maharishi. A few years later in 2003 we reconnected and decided to start working together. We started a fashion label called Call Of The Wild and had a small studio on Hoxton Square.

It was all very step by step, but when we were approached to create the cover for Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell things started to change and other commissions came in. The label was doing well at that point and things just seemed to go from strength to strength. There was no real master plan, things just happened and the timing was right.

Talk us through your work. It's nature-inspired yet highly graphic and geometric. Where do you find your inspiration?

Our inspiration mainly comes from nature but having a graphic background it makes sense to us to abstract and make our work geometric. We both grew up in the country (Kai is a Somerset boy) so maybe this is why we gravitate towards nature. However our work isn't necessarily about nature, but we use it as our foundation and to connect. Our work deals with subjects based on time.

Our images somehow balance the serene with the intense or the fragile with the stable. All landscapes excite us. We often look at water for inspiration and this feeds back into the passage of time theme.

How does your working process actually work? Do you work on pieces together or individually?

We always work on pieces together and discuss as we go. We've been working together for 13 + years, so have our routine down. 

Some of your commissions have included collaborations with brands such as Nike and Reebok, designers like Alexander McQueen and book cover commissions for David Mitchell. Have you found them satisfying projects to work on? How does it work to bring concepts together?

We really enjoy collaborating and we find interesting results can happen. Most recently for our current show we collaborated with David Mitchell author of Cloud Atlas.This is a longstanding collaboration and one we are very proud of.

Originally we were asked to create his book covers and a few years later we asked David if he would write a short story for one of our art shows in response to the works. Recently we've collaborated with Element Skateboards on four decks with the concept of Wind, Earth, Fire, Water. Sunny and I are both very interested in skateboarding and the theme fits our work.

"I believe when collaborating a lot of trust is involved from both sides to get great results. There's a certain amount of risk so it needs to feel right - there needs to be a fit or a relationship between both parties, and certainly trust and mutual respect."

How do you choose your materials and processes and how have these evolved over time? Is there a distinctive development behind you / that you see going forward – or does it just happen organically?

Our work over the 13 years of working together has changed a lot and we have grown and developed our process during this time. In the earlier days our work was much more graphic and bold shapes but over the years we have refined this. Our work has become much more linear, using single lines to build up layers using ballpoint pens. It's a very methodic and controlled process. Our work has become very detailed however each line has its individual place. It makes you use only what is needed. 

So your new exhibition Whirlwind of Time is at StolenSpace Gallery in London. You've also exhibited in the US – New York, San Francisco and LA – do you have any favourite locations?

We've enjoyed all of our shows and each show has enabled us to work on the next. It teaches you to try new techniques, try new ideas. Having the opportunity to show in LA at Shepard Fairey's gallery was awe-inspiring. We learnt a huge amount from that show and applied that in our New York show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. We couldn't have created our current show at StolenSpace Gallery in London without the previous ones. They are all as important as each other.

Tell us a little bit about Whirlwind of Time – the new work, themes and processes behind it?

Whirlwind Of Time is about the passage of time. The works explore the turning of tides, changing weather and time for reflection. Our pen pieces are built up with hundreds of lines which creates a tension inside each piece. The images are delicate but as a mass of colour and shape they feel powerful. It's a slow methodical process and perhaps that leads into the theme of time somehow.

What about future projects or ideas…? Do you think the same themes of nature, time and reflection will still continue to inspire you?

I believe so. These are areas that inspire us. I feel we are just touching the surface.

 

One final word – yourself and Sunny are massive Clarks Originals fans and have been expertly wearing our Clarks Desert Boot and Desert London styles. What is it about them you love so much?

I've worn the Desert Boot for as long as I remember. I think as a piece of design they are just perfect. Great handcrafted quality combined with simplicity. Form meets function at its best.

 

BUY - Mens Desert Boots

BUY - Desert London

SHOP - Clarks Originals

Photography by Stuart Grimshaw of Pennleigh © Stuart Grimshaw/Pennleigh Ltd. 2016

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PostHardy Amies to Tulik Edge

Our archives are an amazing legacy of shoemaking expertise that still inform what we do. For over 190 years we have pioneered ground-breaking design and innovative technology while celebrating the experts whose skills we depend upon.

Legendary British fashion designer Hardy Amies was best known for his official title as dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth II. Amies was also instrumental in pioneering modern British menswear. His contribution to men’s fashion helped define a decade that still shapes how the world understands British style.

Amies was appointed as Design Consultant for Clarks men’s division in 1962, heralding a hugely influential period of design. Archive imagery tells tells a story and plots a clear stylistic course to some of this season’s men's styles.

Contemporary design is constantly evolving to meet new demands. Taking SS16's Tulik Edge – a modern, unlined summer shoe with shades of Amies' signature clean lines and added sports influenced peforations – what we consider as workwear is surely also up for discussion. An unlined, deconstructed suit with traditional pin-striping is certainly smart enough for work, yet with sporty cuffed hems and a drawstring waist, it's relaxed enough to carry on into the night. 

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PostLetter from the Desert

When Nathan Clark wrote home about his idea for the Clarks Desert Boot, they said “It’ll never sell”. In fact, in the 65 years since its launch over ten million pairs have been sold in over 100 countries.

The Clarks Desert Boot, The Wallabee®, Trigenic Flex. Their distinctive silhouettes set them apart. So too do the finishing touches that combine craftsmanship and innovation in equal measure.

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PostGoodhood X Clarks Originals

Shoreditch, London saw the launch of Goodhood’s first Clarks collaboration with two limited edition Wallabees. Both are available for women and men exclusively from Goodhood’s flagship store which cultivates the brand’s vision of cultural flow and experience rather than merely hopping aboard the trends of the fashion industry.

Jo Sindle, Goodhood’s Co-Founder says, “I grew up wearing Wallabees through the British Acid House era and it is a shoe I love. 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”.

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PostSS16 Clarks V&A

Inspired by the 1960s, Clarks and the Victoria and Albert Museum - the world’s leading museum of art and design - celebrate the decade that changed fashion forever.

INSPIRATION FROM THE SWINGING SIXTIES

We’ve been making shoes since 1825. Designing them too, setting trends and building a reputation as a world leader in footwear for every occasion. Our archive is unique and over the years our enduring sense of style has attracted collaborators including some of the best known names in fashion, art and design - most recently, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Working closely with the V&A, we’ve updated 60s looks, patterns and prints to create a SS16 collection that says that was then, this is now. 

The 60s youthquake with its pop bands, photographers, hairdressers and Bambi-eyed models turned ‘swinging’ London into the centre of the universe and Britain into a fashion leader. The look was clean and young – babydoll mini-dresses worn with big lashes and even bigger hair. Men started to dress up, too - aping the Beatles in polo necks and natty little suits.

Shoes had a revolution of their own. Those minis demanded flatter styles and a million Mary Janes and sling-back pumps were born. While the boy’s skinny, ankle-skimming trousers called for equally skinny boots. Forty years later, Clarks has partnered with the V&A to turn these groovy styles into something new this season.

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PostClarks Originals Trigenic Flex

TRIGENIC FLEX

CRAFTED INNOVATION

Our latest innovation, the Trigenic Flex was inspired by the Clarks Hygienic range – a revolutionary Victorian concept that focused on the foot’s natural form.

Taking this concept further, the Trigenic Flex features a 3-part decoupled Vibram sole and an asymmetrical last and lacing system – giving the foot superior freedom of movement. With a hand whipstitched moccasin construction, it’s the perfect fusion of innovative technology and classic Clarks design. 

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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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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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Post#comfortandjoy – The winners so far…

We’ve fired your festive imaginations with our #comfortandjoy campaign this season…so we wanted to share some winners of our weekly Moments competition. One lucky individual wins a £100 Clarks voucher and runners-up receive festive candy-striped laces. But they all get entered into the big prize - £500 of Mr & Mrs Smith gift cards – perfect for a post-Christmas break!

Keep an eye out for our weekly Clarks emails for more ‘moments’ ideas – we love your pics, keep them coming…!

Find out more - #comfortandjoy

Sign up - Clarks Emails, Newsletter & Offers

 

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PostA Clarks Gore-Tex® Microadventure

Take a bunch of town and city dwellers who grew up as countryside children. Add in a weekend escape to a remote Exmoor bunkhouse plus a few pairs of GORE-TEX® and warmlined boots. Oh, and Taz the dog.

You’ve got a Clarks GORE-TEX® Microadventure.

Who: Freelance Graphic Designers Rich Webster and Roger Whipp, freelance Illustrator Kate Daubney, and Stu Grimshaw, photographer. Friends Rich and Roger met at college, while Ilfracombe-based Kate and Roger have a sweet spot for this particular Exmoor bolthole having visited on school trips. Kate and Roger’s dog Taz comes too.

 As Rich explains, the team spend days sitting in front of blank sheets of paper and screens ‘bringing ideas to life through design’. So the weekend is all about, “Getting back out and about, searching for new experiences and micro-adventures – in the city or countryside, on my bike, running – anything, as long as I’m always moving”.

For Rich, the weekend is all about, “Getting back out and about, searching for new experiences and micro-adventures – in the city or countryside, on my bike, running – anything, as long as I’m always moving”.

Where: Opened in 1968 the Exmoor Centre was established under the will of Dora Cartwright-Williams who wished to see a centre for young people in the Hoar Oak Valley in memory of her husband and their happy times spent in the area.

A year-round base, the camp’s sheltered location means frosts can last for weeks on end with temperatures barely getting above freezing.

Set on the edge of farmland and open common moorland, access is by foot only. Parking is half a mile away. A hand rope helps take you over the stepping stones that cross the river. In Padley Alp GTX and Ripway Hill GTX feet stay dry, EVA keeps you light of foot and the chunky rubber sole gives grip.

Exmoor provides us with a place to connect with the landscape and can often feel far more remote than it actually is. It’s equally as beautiful on a cold, damp, dark and windy winter’s day as it is on a dry warm summer evening. 

What: First things first. On arrival, the UV water filter needs switching on and firewood must be foraged. Then, maps come out and the afternoon’s walk is planned.

The river runs high following lots of rain. Exmoor’s high moorland streams are generally slow flowing above the treeline and though in places they become deep enough for the brave to swim, they are rarely warm, even at the height of summer. Otters breed on the river downstream of the centre and Red Deer, Exmoor survivors since pre-historic times, can be seen most days. 

Evening calls for a supper of bangers and mash. Then, fire stoked, a bit of chat, reading and star-gazing take the edge off a blustery night before everyone retires to their bunks.

Morning sees less bluster – and an obligatory fry-up. A quick clean of the centre leaves it ready for the next visitors. Kate squeezes in time to create some illustrations. Then, backpacks on, the team ships out. Over the river, up tracks and across the common, back to Bristol, buses, Ilfracombe’s harbour, and away from the moor.

“I love my day job as a freelance illustrator – primarily for the children’s market – but the opportunity to get away from the desk and do some drawing out on location is bliss, especially somewhere as naturally beautiful as Exmoor.”

Wearing:

Roger – Padley Alp GTX. I was brought up wearing Clarks so trust they will fit me properly and be made to last. This time of year I practically live in my Clarks GORE-TEX® boots and give them a real run for their money. So far they are standing up to the worst of the British weather. Oh, and a friend in London headed straight out to buy a pair after seeing mine!

Rich – Ripway Hill GTX. From the moment I put these boots on I knew they weren’t going to disappoint. They supported my feet from all angles with great cushioning and needed minimal 'breaking in’ time. They were so good for exploring the great outdoors all day they’ll probably get some outings in the city as well as they definitely won’t look out of place.

Kate – Orinoco Spice. It's great to have a pair of warmlined boots that I can throw on for weekend adventures that are comfortable, sturdy and stylish and my Clarks Orinoco boots tick all the boxes. I love the fact that I don't even have to lace them up!

katedaubney.blogspot.co.uk

www.richwebster.co.uk

www.rogerwhipp.co.uk

www.exmoorcentre.co.uk

Photography by Stuart Grimshaw of Pennleigh © Stuart Grimshaw/Pennleigh Ltd. 2015 www.pennleigh.com

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PostBlog Loving: Lobster and Swan

Every now and again we love to get away to the coast to blast out the cobwebs. And fortunately East Sussex based stylist, blogger and photographer Jeska from Lobster and Swan feels the same.

She and husband Dean took time out from packing up Christmas parcels for their online lifestyle store, The Future Kept, to take the salty air and wear in our gorgeous Cabin Spa boots. Rugged yet waxy and tactile, the icing on the cake is that their warmlining keeps feet toasty down to -20°C.

A perfect boot for the wet, windy English coastline. Wild and desolate with its grainy mix of grey skies, flinty waves and honeyed pebbles, this speck of shoreline has never looked so beautiful.

Dean multi-tasked effortlessly to get the shots in his GORE-TEX® boots, Ripway Hill GTX. And at the end of it all they managed to find a sheltered spot for a cup of tea. Bliss.

Follow Jeska on Instagram at @lobsterandswan and Dean @dean.hearne

BUY – Cabin Spa, Dark Tan leather

SHOP – Womens Casual Boots

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PostFestive Favourites Edit

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas...

So we’ve put together a small selection of the pieces we can’t live without this festive season.

We couldn’t decide which party shoe we liked best – Curtain Magic in gunmetal metallic, Always Bright with its asymmetric gold stitching or sassy shoe boot Dalhart Salsa – so we thought we’d take all three. For bags, do we go matchy matchy with Just May or add shimmer with gorgeous oversized clutch, Tissi Nights?

Thank goodness men’s smart stays beautifully simple. Gabwell Walk is utterly sophisticated with its low key deep gleam in premium chestnut leather.

SHOP – Party & Gifts

 

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PostA Week In The Style Of: Dan Hasby-Oliver

We thought it was high time we caught up with Clarks Men’s Trends Analyst, Dan Hasby-Oliver.

As if predicting and formulating colour and material palettes, identifying key shoes and working to influence the wider Clarks Brand community in product creation weren’t enough, Dan puts his journalistic background to good use as author and editor of Last Style of Defense, an award winning, globally ranked menswear blog that features the best in menswear from around the globe.

Just the right man then to give us his style notes for the season.

FRIDAY. One of the biggest – and simplest – shoes for the season is the white cupsole, as it works with everything and has become a wardrobe classic of late. These white, premium leather Balloff Lace are a preview of what’s to come for Spring/Summer 2016 as we really tap into the sneaker trend. There is a superb package around this shoe and a perk of working at Clarks is to get them early! Nodding to the surge in Sport Luxe, it again works well with black jeans and a white, casual button down shirt, which again echoes that Scandinavian look. 

SHOP - Mens Trainers

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PostA Week In The Style Of: Dan Hasby-Oliver

We thought it was high time we caught up with Clarks Men’s Trends Analyst, Dan Hasby-Oliver.

As if predicting and formulating colour and material palettes, identifying key shoes and working to influence the wider Clarks Brand community in product creation weren’t enough, Dan puts his journalistic background to good use as author and editor of Last Style of Defense, an award winning, globally ranked menswear blog that features the best in menswear from around the globe.

Just the right man then to give us his style notes for the season.

THURSDAY. Sport Luxe is no longer a trend but a cultural phenomenon. What started out as the rise of the sneaker as a lifestyle product, rather than just worn for sports or the gym, has now permeated menswear and the wider fashion industry. It can be done in a casual way, or like here, in a more dress way as I've chosen a pair of grey marl sweatpants and teamed them with a white, Oxford shirt and a black double breasted blazer to wear with Edward Limit. The Goodyear Welted construction and superb leather and brogue detail just shout quality and craftsmanship and it's a shoe that can be worn in a variety of ways, taking me from day to night. The contrast of the formality of the shoe and jacket, played down with the sweat pants and a more casual white shirt adds an interesting dynamic that can take me from the office to a bar in Bath or Bristol to meet friends with ease, while giving me the opportunity to tap into a strong and ongoing trend. 

BUY - Edward Limit, Black leather

SHOP - Mens Smart Shoes

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PostA Week In The Style Of: Dan Hasby-Oliver

We thought it was high time we caught up with Clarks Men’s Trends Analyst, Dan Hasby-Oliver.

As if predicting and formulating colour and material palettes, identifying key shoes and working to influence the wider Clarks Brand community in product creation weren’t enough, Dan puts his journalistic background to good use as author and editor of Last Style of Defense, an award winning, globally ranked menswear blog that features the best in menswear from around the globe.

Just the right man then to give us his style notes for the season.

WEDNESDAY. Monochrome. The Scandinavian Look. Or just simply black and white. Simplicity has become a trend in itself yet doesn’t obviously look like one, which is why I chose a simple pair of slim black jeans and a well cut white Oxford shirt to pair with Penton Monk. The Double Monk is a wardrobe essential for any man’s wardrobe, as is a pair of black jeans and a white shirt. It’s a day for classic, staple items that work perfectly together whilst taking style cues from Denmark and Sweden. 

BUY - Penton Monk, Black leather

SHOP - Mens Smart Shoes

 
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PostA Week In The Style Of: Dan Hasby-Oliver

We thought it was high time we caught up with Clarks Men’s Trends Analyst, Dan Hasby-Oliver.

As if predicting and formulating colour and material palettes, identifying key shoes and working to influence the wider Clarks Brand community in product creation weren’t enough, Dan puts his journalistic background to good use as author and editor of Last Style of Defense, an award winning, globally ranked menswear blog that features the best in menswear from around the globe.

Just the right man then to give us his style notes for the season.

TUESDAY. A good pair of crafted, high quality leather, Goodyear Welted shoes should last a man a lifetime. This sentiment is reflected in Edward Limit, a pair of tan brogues that look great teamed with a pair of indigo jeans and a white shirt with a logo sweater on top. That mix of casual and dress is a strong trend that has been bubbling up from the street as it speaks to a busy, creative lifestyle but also nods to an appreciation of quality. Edward Limit is inspired by the Clarks archive; coming from a style named Craftmaster that was born in the 1950s, it shows that quality and style transcends decades but can easily fit into the looks of contemporary menswear.

BUY - Edward Limit, Tan Interest leather

SHOP - Mens Smart Shoes

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PostA Week In The Style Of: Dan Hasby-Oliver

We thought it was high time we caught up with Clarks Men’s Trends Analyst, Dan Hasby-Oliver.

As if predicting and formulating colour and material palettes, identifying key shoes and working to influence the wider Clarks Brand community in product creation weren’t enough, Dan puts his journalistic background to good use as author and editor of Last Style of Defense, an award winning, globally ranked menswear blog that features the best in menswear from around the globe.

Just the right man then to give us his style notes for the season.

MONDAY. The Clarks Desert Boot is the ultimate, versatile dress casual shoe. As both Street – the home of Clarks – and the rolling landscape of Somerset has been swathed in a blanket of fog, pairing them with classic indigo denim mixed with a checked shirt and a warm, duvet-like jacket with fur trimmed hood makes for the ideal early autumn look. The sand suede is the original Clarks Desert Boot shade, which is almost as iconic as the profile itself. It works with a variety of outfits and is a nod to us celebrating the Desert Boot’s 65th anniversary this year.

BUY - Clarks Desert Boot, Sand suede

SHOP - Mens Originals

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PostTales From the Riverbank

Journeying from Japan through street culture, fashion school and Paris, Clarks Senior Designer Atsushi Hasegawa shares stories of collecting vintage vinyl, teaching fly fishing to the French elite and how he finally settled down with a Somerset girl.

Atsushi – can you tell us a little bit about your background, and how you came to work for Clarks? Was there anything in particular that brought you here?

I was born and grew up in Japan where I went to the most famous fashion school, the same school as Yohji Yamamoto and Kenzo. Before fashion school I’d worked in the Vivienne Westwood shop – the first in Japan – and had been in i-D and The Face magazine. It was a very exciting time! Vivienne Westwood re-issued a collection at the shop which included her famous bondage trousers that The Sex Pistols and others were famous for wearing.

Rather than being a good student I started DJ-ing with quite famous, iconic people in Japan. I discovered fashion myself, but not ordinary fashion – more sort of street/sub-culture.  I wasn’t necessarily inspired by art – everything the teacher said, do this, or do that – I hated it. But it was the mid to late 80s and I was completely fascinated by skateboarding, hip-hop – not necessarily Japanese culture. I was totally interested in foreign scenes. Probably London at that time was strongest.

While I was DJ-ing there were many fashion and magazine people around, so I started showing them my sketches and illustrations. I quickly started doing artwork for them, for fashion and street fashion magazines. But then in the mid-90s I had a complete ‘enough’. I’d discovered French fly fishing culture - sometimes even while I was DJ-ing I’d need to go to the countryside to go fishing. So when I stopped DJ-ing I was more interested in this real scene than fashion or trends. I started to work for the American outdoor company, L.L. Bean. I was a fishing instructor for them for four years. And whatever I do I always immerse myself in it. So that’s what happened with fly fishing

 

 

French fly fishing culture is connected with Ernest Hemingway who went to France a couple of times to fish with the French hotelier, Charles Ritz. I contacted the shop they all used to go to in Paris, a really famous shop, La Maison de la Mouche Dubos, and I had a correspondence with Jean Michel Dubos, the son of Rene Dubos, the shop’s founder.

So in the mid-90s I said, ‘OK, I should go!’ And I went to Paris and was there for 15 years. I was a fly fishing instructor for La Maison de la Mouche Dubos, but was still doing design and illustration jobs. I launched a T-shirt brand with a Japanese company and tried to launch a fishing jacket collection. I worked as a fashion stylist – basically I tried to use all my knowledge of creativity.

I had French girlfriends, but I finally met an English girl from Somerset. I liked French jazz or French vintage music, including Serge Gainsbourg who was with Jane Birkin – and I thought, ‘Oh, an English girl in Paris!’ After 15 years I wanted something more settled and she started talking about the English life. So, we had two babies, and we moved here with our children (now 8 & 6 years old) for a more healthy way of life. And I was very, very excited because for my hobby, fly fishing, this country is great.

I knew about Clarks – only because of Clarks Originals – from when I was working in fashion and was a kid in the 80s. They had Clarks Originals in very good shops. So I said, ‘Clarks – why not?!’ 

I had French girlfriends, but I finally met an English girl from Somerset. I liked French jazz or French vintage music, including Serge Gainsbourg who was with Jane Birkin – and I thought, ‘Oh, an English girl in Paris!’

Can you outline your role at Clarks and some of the projects you have worked on? Which have been your favourites so far…?

My favourite project and one of the biggest was the Clarks Originals re-branding – working on the logo with the team from mood board to execution. For Clarks Originals branding I have now also started using my drawing, so my drawing is visible on the website. I also worked on the Clarks V&A collaboration – I chose the pink and worked on how we use my specially created black and white illustrations for the logo and box design. These projects are exciting as I can put more of my personality into them. Especially after the V&A project people have started to recognise my drawing and have asked me for similar things.

Can you tell us about things in your life and in the outside world or within your job that inspire you?

I was always doing doodles and drawing as a child, and I was always a collector. The first thing I started collecting was vinyl, then when I was a skateboarder in the 80s all the skate T-shirts, like Stüssy.  I saw them before they got very famous. I always enjoyed finding something not many people have. I’m interested in very small, very niche stuff - the small trend. I still collect now. I probably have nearly 100 fishing rods. I have 3000 vinyl records, all French from the 1950s-70s. I like everything vintage. When I was DJ-ing in Paris I found all the vinyl myself from car boot sales in Paris, I was doing the flea markets every single weekend.

When we started working with the V&A we were taken behind the scenes to their archive to talk about what is iconic. I looked at the detail of the building which was all quite fascinating, so I took many pictures and finally did the drawings. I tried to mix the two things – for example, something from Clarks – a last or tools – with something from the V&A building. So it’s a mix of both.

So in your spare time would we find you on the riverbank? Tell us more about your fly fishing expertise?

I started fishing when I was five or six years old – my father would take me to the lake and leave me there then pick me up later. I taught myself to fish. I’m an auto-didact.

Now my fishing rods are always in the boot of my car with my Wellington boots and waders. So sometimes I say to my wife, ‘Oh I need to get something from the supermarket,’ and at the same time I try to go fishing, even for 15-20 minutes. Fly fishing is sort of like therapy for me. Other fishing is just waiting - if nothing happens you get bored – but fly fishing is basically you trying to understand nature all the time. Like learning the wind direction and the temperature of the water, or, if it’s a sunny day today how was it yesterday. So, it’s a very good place to learn something very fundamental.

Sometimes I’ve got problems with my job or my friendships, all sorts of stuff, and I go fishing, and you kind of learn how you work it out. Basically the river is not flat. There are so many things to understand so it is very complicated but I think it is very simple.

And it’s so funny, if you’re stressed you can’t make your knot! If you’re nervous, your fly, the eye is so tiny, you can’t even get that! So I say, ‘Calm down, calm down..I can do it!’ It’s like yoga!

When I was teaching fly-fishing in Paris I had such surprising customers, such a mix – they were from the one and only fishing shop left in Paris. I taught such a mix of people – famous actors, rich people, fashion designers, students – very cosmopolitan. I teach my children to fish sometimes. Their friends say, ‘Your dad’s teaching fly fishing, he’s famous,’ and my kids say, ‘Ooh, Daddy teaches fly fishing, Daddy’s cool!’

I have many pairs of Clarks Originals. And I’ve stopped wearing other shoes. I’ve worn only Originals for maybe the last three years – and they’ve become part of my skin!

Do you have any key looks or style notes from the Clarks AW15 collection?

I’ve grown up with Clarks Originals – Desert Boots, Desert Trek, the Wallabee, Natalie. I absorbed many famous shoes when I was young and I definitely liked Clarks Originals with their authentic, simple designs.

I went to a Clarks Originals photoshoot at Kilve beach which is on the West Somerset Coast Path, and I noticed Kilve Trek.  It has a very outdoors, authentic side with its chunky Vibram sole and felt inside and is maybe more masculine than the classic Desert Trek. Kilve Trek brings things together, it brings in the outdoors.

I have many pairs of Clarks Originals. And I’ve stopped wearing other shoes. I’ve worn only Originals for maybe the last three years – and they’ve become part of my skin!

Photography by Stuart Grimshaw of Pennleigh © Stuart Grimshaw/Pennleigh Ltd. 2015 www.pennleigh.com. Read more about Atsushi's fly fishing adventures here.

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PostBlog Loving: Jordan Bunker

SHOP - Men's Originals

BUY - Desert London, black suede

City hopper Jordan Bunker took time out for a caffeine fix and to update his men’s and lifestyle blog while sporting a pair of our Clarks Originals Desert London shoes.

Jordan proves how great this Originals spin on the classic Derby looks, cut just below the ankle with simple, clean lines, and worn barefoot with a pair of rolled up skinny jeans. Classic yet contemporary – just the way we like it.

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PostOur Man in Milan

LineapelleMontage4b We take the selection of our shoe and bag materials super-seriously. So twice a year we dispatch our resident Clarks experts to Lineapelle in Milan, an international exhibition that shouts out the leathers and textiles you’ll be wearing not this season…not next season…but the season after that.

Over 20,000 visitors take to Lineapelle’s floors per show and most make a beeline to The Trend Area where buyers and designers tap into the hues and finishes that will inform their lookbooks and creative teams.

The Lineapelle brief for AW16/17? A return to natural leather tones makes ‘brown the new black’ while smooth vintage-luxe metallics keep whisking us back to the 70s. Colour goes technicolour –geometric microprints and digi-pop brights keep it sweet.

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PostWallabee for AW15

Clarks Wallabees

 

SHOP – Men’s Originals Boots

BUY – Wallabee Boot

Our Clarks Originals Wallabee profile just keeps on giving. Cut to this season’s update – a boot version that sits higher on the ankle and mixes 100% pure wool felt with suede, and trims it with a touch of veg tan leather. Top up your neutral layers with a grey marl sweatshirt and inject some deep purple denim.

 

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PostClarks Desert Boots : Made in England

Clarks Desert Boot

This year we’re celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Clarks Desert Boot with a special limited-edition pair, made in England.

SHOP – Clarks Desert Boots

BUY – Made in England Clarks Desert Boots

Each of the 1,950 pairs (they hit the market in 1950) of Made in England Desert Boots are hand-numbered and feature…

  • The original Cordova Velour suede which characterised the very first Desert Boot styles of the 1950s
  • An exceptionally crafted pair of socks by TRiCKETT of Lancashire, knitted using 100% Lancastrian cotton on traditional looms and finished by hand
  • An exclusive crepe suede cleaner in the shape of the Desert Boot’s iconic fob
  • Alternative leather laces
  • Collectible packaging containing commemorative artwork

Invest in a true Original.

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PostDesert Aerial : New Desert Boots

Desert Boots

Some designs are so clean that a slight tweak is all it takes to create something new. Our Desert Aerials team the classic Desert Boot with a lightweight trainer sole and laces. Keep it simple and wear yours with chinos and a mint green linen shirt for easy summer style.

SHOP – Desert Aerial

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PostGo barefoot: 8 May 2015

Men's summer style

Built for barefoot our Darning Walk lace ups in petrol blue suede are the perfect solution to today’s international ‘No sock day’. This unlined style features an antimicrobial Ortholite® footbed making them ideal for going sans-socks. Team them with some sartorial, cropped joggers, a blazer and grandad collar shirt for a smart style that you can wear right into summer.

SHOP – Darning Walk

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PostHerschel x Clarks Desert Boots

Herschel Clarks Desert Boot

SHOP – Clarks Herschel Desert Boots

To celebrate 65 years of the Desert Boot, we’ve teamed up with design driven accessorise brand Herschel for an exclusive collaboration. Available in navy and grey premium suede, the Herschel Desert Boot features colour-dipped lace aglets, a contrasting tumbled leather tongue and a soft chambray lining for a look that blends timeless functionality with modern design.

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PostRats to Rudeboys – Story of the Clarks Desert Boot

Ever since the Clarks Desert Boot took America by storm in 1950, the deceptively simple design has captured the imagination of subcultures and style leaders from around the world. Whether it was in the music halls of 1970s Kingston, Jamaica or on the streets of Paris during the 1968 uprisings, the Desert Boot has been the shoe of choice for youth trying to carve out a new identity.

SHOP – Clarks Desert Boots 

In celebration of its 65th anniversary we’re using WhatsApp to connect the Desert Boot’s fans with key figures from subcultures of the past 65 years. To discover more about the project watch the film and read on below…  Continue reading

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PostThe new Originals: Clarks Desert boots

Clarks Desert Boots The Trigenic Dune boot teams a three part decoupled sole with supple, waxy leathers for a new take on sports minimalism. The flexible construction makes them commuter-friendly and their architectural edge makes them a striking piece of footwear design – don’t just take our word for it (www.highsnobiety.com).

SHOP – Trigenics

SHOP – All Originals

SHOP – Desert Aerial 

Whether it’s Monday morning, dress down Friday or a lazy Sunday with mates, the Desert Aerial is your new go to shoe for instant outfit impact. Based on the iconic Desert Boot but reinterpreted in perforated suede with a super lightweight sneaker sole, this versatile design can be worn with slacks in your downtime and then restyled with smart separates for work.

Clarks Trigenics

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PostGET THE LOOK – SUMMER NEUTRALS

Vegetable Tan leather shoes

SHOP – All Hinton Fly

Hinton Fly is a shoe inspired by our archives – the design has echoes of our classic Desert Boot through its distinctive stitch down construction, and because it’s made using vegetable tan leather it’s ideal to be worn barefoot.  Choose the same or similar colours to build afresh neutral summer look.

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Post2015: Men’s spring workwear

Clarks Desert Boots We’ve come a long way since the days of pinstripes and bowler hats. Workwear needs to have enough of a sartorial slant to be taken seriously – while at the same time being flexible enough to take us from work to weekend when 5 o’clock on a Friday rolls around.

SHOP – all men’s Jink styles

SHOP – all men’s canvas styles 

These low profile Jink Desert Boots in green canvas will take the edge off summer suits or chinos and can then be worn with denim shorts when Saturday comes.

 

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PostMen’s casual trainers

Clarks-Wallabees- grey

The very concept of the modern man’s trainer has evolved, making athletic inspired footwear more wearable than ever. Inspired by the iconic Clarks Wallabee, our Tawyer Lite in sporty grey mesh intelligently straddles the line between sneaker and shoe, making them ideal for weekend wear for casual days.

SHOP - MEN’S CASUAL TRAINERS

BUY – this navy backpack

Our Mego Walk in perforated unlined leather was created to be worn barefoot. This low profile classic calls on 50s sportswear for inspiration and will work with skinny black jeans now, then with shorts in a month or two when the weather begins to heat up.

Men's-casual-trainers-in-black

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PostCrafted styles

Men's blue boots

SHOP – MEN’S BOOTS

Embrace your inner mod by teaming our Darning Top boot with a cropped Harrington jacket. This suede style can be worn laced up high and close to the ankle with skinny cords or even a suit. Alternatively fold them down for a casual option that exposes your socks – adding another dimension to your look.

Men's suede brogues

SHOP – MEN’S BROGUES

Featuring a stacked leather sole, Goodyear welted construction and heritage detailing on the sole our Edward Style brogues exude class. With shoes this attractive you can keep your outerwear simple.  A tailored jacket complete with pocket square, crisp white shirt and black jeans. As we head into spring invest in some invisible socks to create a barefoot look.

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PostGARCON JON – FOR CLARKS

Men's brown shoes

Photographer and blogger Garcon Jon found out what makes creative Londoner Jason Davis tick while photographing him in his favourite Clarks shoe, the Monmart Limit. See how he styled up his Clarks and read the full interview with Jason here.

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PostGARCON JON – FOR CLARKS

 

Blogger and photographer Garcon Jon photographed and interviewed four London gents in their favourite AW Clarks shoes. See the full interview with Adam Titchener, Editor-in-Chief of The Sartorial Guide here.

Shop these Edward Lord boots here.

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PostDOOM X WALLABEE BOOT – AVAILABLE NOW

Doom Wallabee boot on sale

Available NOW - Shop DOOM X WALLABEE BOOT

 

Before the launch of the Limited Edition DOOM X Wallabee boot we talked to the super villain of hip hop about teaming up with Clarks Originals.

How did you start out?

The super villain really started out in New York. I’ve been doing music now for more than 20 years, and I’m still doing what I do – instrumentals, rhymes, trying to cover as much of the spectrum musically as I can – whilst professionally keeping it tight.

Why do you wear a mask?

This version of the mask I have had for about five years. There have been previous versions, but the idea came from me just wanting to wear a mask on stage. I started out by wearing a stocking mask at first, and then it evolved to a plastic, altered, Halloween mask, until we came up with the current bad boy.

Why did you decide to work with Clarks Originals?

Well, Clarks Originals are the classic Wallabee joints. It’s in their name – they are classics, originals. Only rich cats had these back in the day. I wasn’t really able to get a pair until recently, but ever since then they’ve been in my collection. It’s like a sneaker, but it’s still a shoe. You can flip them up. They always had a classy but casual look to them.

What was it like to make your own shoe?

Well Clarks came up with the offer, and automatically I was with it. I was trying to think how, and what, am I going to add to an original. Originals are classy joints – so I had to work out what I could do without taking away from that feel.

You are certainly a Pioneer. What similarities are there between you and Clarks Originals?

Well thank you for the compliment. I feel humble – there’s a lot of hard work that has been put into it, so it’s great that it has been appreciated. I think we’re a good fit as you’re dealing with two original concepts. I’m trying to be as different as possible with the mask and everything. No-one had ever tried it before, it was ground breaking.

It’s the same with these shoes – they stand the test of time. When you have something like that, where craftsmanship and care is put into the creation, then it tends to last a long time. That’s the true test. I think that’s also a good look for me – Clarks Originals and I both carry weight with what we do and what we do speaks for itself.

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PostDan Hasby-Oliver: Trends Analyst

 

We caught up with our trends analyst, Dan Hasby-Oliver, for his take on our new collections and what it’s like to assess the fashion landscape for a living.

As part of the Clarks creative team I predict and analyse footwear, fashion, social and digital trends to inform and influence product creation.

Before Clarks I studied fashion journalism. I then worked as a fashion and lifestyle journalist alongside working in sales and PR at a renowned British fashion label and running club events in London. Somehow I got roped into teaching English in a college along the way too, so quite a mix!

My favourite thing about my job is the travel; individually and as a creative team, travelling to various cities and trade-shows for research and inspiration is key for a healthy creative process and fresh, product information.

I’d describe my style as British vs Americana heritage. I wear quite a lot of denim, knits and checks but then I also love the monochrome, Scandi and sports luxe trends. My favourite place to shop in the world is Selfridges.  Every city in the world should have one.

Clarks has made a very identifiable leap from comfort casuals to stylish shoes you can wear all day, every day. No longer does Clarks mean just ‘safe’ shoes and children’s shoes, they are designed for people who want to make a style statement and who prioritise quality and craft.

For SS15 I’m really looking forward to seeing my influences come through in our products – from sports-inspired cup soles to on-trend colours that were identified and developed about 18 months ago!

Dan is wearing Monmart Limit / Frelan Rise / Norton Rise  

For more on style from Dan – take a look at his world renowned blog here

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PostDoom – Limited Edition Wallabee

Doom X Clarks Wallabee

MF DOOM The self-styled ‘super villain of hip hop’ is back, collaborating with Clarks Originals on a Wallabee like no other. Remixed in NY Knicks’ colours, they feature a mask-themed lining, glow in the dark sole and royal blue suede.

Available 12.12.14

Shop Clarks Originals Wallabees 

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PostThe Men’s Edit – our pop-up store closes its doors

Our first ever dedicated men’s showcase has closed its doors but luckily we took some time to film the pop-up store in all its vintage glory. Located in the heart of Neal Street, Covent Garden, The Men’s Edit store hosted events with traditional shoe-shining, gourmet street food and craft beers on tap. Throw in the hand-picked edit of Clarks men’s shoes, including the ground breaking collaboration with Norton Motorcycles, and you’ve got a winning combination.

Now, on to the next one…

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PostDesk to dance floor

Men's smart shoes With Christmas around the corner it’s time to get prepped for party season. For lots of us this means finding an outfit that provides around the clock wear. Our Monmart Walk shoes combine high shine leather with a stacked ice sole and exposed stitching. Take them firmly into evening territory with a crisp white granddad collar shirt, blazer and skinny fit jeans for a look that can cover both work and play.

 

Women's party shoes

Our Hotel Sparkle shoe combines a slipper silhouette with studs and patent touches for a slick day to night outfit update. Get a jump on the new season now by teaming it with an iridescent box top. If iridescent isn’t on your radar it soon will be, so why wait? Black peg trousers make the ensemble office-appropriate and gold accessories are always a wise party season investment.

Unfortunately Hotel Sparkle have now sold out but why not try one of these styles to complete this party look. Amulet Myth / Hotel Chic / Ennis Weave

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PostGarcon Jon – for Clarks Men’s Edit

 

To celebrate the launch of our Men’s Edit store in Covent Garden, blogger and photographer Garcon Jon photographed and interviewed four London gents in their favourite AW14 Clarks shoes. See the full interview with artist Abo Akin here and take a look at the boots he’s wearing, the Frelan Rise, here. For more information on our first ever Men’s only store in Covent Garden click here.

 

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PostMens Edit

 

WHAT:  Our first ever pop-up store dedicated to sartorial styled and fashion forward men’s shoes and boots.

WHEN: 23 October - 16 November

WHERE: 55 Neal Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9PJ

WHY: To showcase our handpicked edit of men’s AW14 styles like never before. This is Clarks – but not as you know it.

Opening hours:

Mon to Wed10am – 7pm
Thurs to Sat10am – 8pm
Sun: 11am – 7pm

Check back here for updates, images and the crowd reaction to the first Clarks store dedicated exclusively to men’s styles in our 190 year history.

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