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.
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…
Via WhatsApp you can meet…
If it’s possible for one man to define an entire subculture, Steve Barrow would be as close as it gets. In an era when modernist culture was flourishing in the UK, Steve would find himself at the heart of it. He was The Mod. He would go on to inspire the youth of his generation to embrace new music, and through his finely tailored tweed suits and the Clarks Desert Boots on his feet, to embrace fashion. Add him on WhatsApp +44 7481 492599 to hear his story live from 1965 and be a part of the coolest generation Britain has ever seen.
In May 1968 Bruno Barbey, Paris resident and Magnum photographer, was to find himself at the centre of a national uprising. Over the course of those few, tense days, he would go on to capture a series of photographs that would define a nation’s restlessness and encapsulate the spirit of rebellious youth. Add him on WhatsApp + 44 7481 491810 to hear his story live from 1968, from the debates with the heads of the Sorbonne, to the Clarks Desert Boots the students wore on their feet.
Meet Stitch, reggae icon and head of a group of rudeboys called the Spanglers who were at the heart of reggae’s birth in 70s Kingston. At a time when status was king, every rudeboy in town had to own a pair of Clarks. But how do you buy British shoes when your government have banned imports? Add him on WhatsApp +44 7841 495645 to hear his story live and direct from 1976. The man who left for England with a suitcase full of records, and returned with a suitcase full of Clarks.