What to Expect from Martine Rose for Clarks

by Hetty Mahlich on 24 May 2023

The Jamaican-British fashion designer will be the first guest creative director for Clarks, revealing three styles during her upcoming off-schedule S/S 24 show this June. Here's what to expect.

The Jamaican-British fashion designer will be the first guest creative director for Clarks, revealing three styles during her upcoming off-schedule S/S 24 show this June. Here's what to expect.

Martine Rose is an expert in taking the banal, the ordinary, and making it extraordinary. It may sound cliché, but there's good reason why the Jamaican-British fashion designer has been at the beating heart of London fashion since launching her namesake brand in 2007 with a collection of shirts. Now encompassing mens and womenswear, Rose and her label became the unsung hero behind menswear's shift from slim to boxy silhouettes in the 2010s, and a general move towards twisted everyday staples across luxury fashion. Following sell-out collaborations with Stüssy, Nike and Tommy Jeans, this summer Rose will reveal her take on Clarks shoes as their first Guest Creative Director.

Rose takes her most personal obsessions and admirations for local community and feeds it into clothing and cultural output. Whether its a love of the bygone era of underground Soho nightlife, the music of artists like Lee 'Scratch' Perry or the raves on Clapham Common she experienced in her youth, Rose takes from her Jamaican-British upbringing and consistently reframes it.

Her fashion shows typically engage with local communities. She's shown on the streets of London such as in a Tottenham cul-de-sac, and in the centre of Florence's Calcio Storico market square as Pitti Uomo's special guest. Her upcoming show this June will unveil three debut Clarks shoes styles, a brand embedded in modern Jamaican style.

'I am so excited about this collaboration which feels personal as I've worn Clarks all my life - through from childhood to now. I am proud to be working with a company that has such a rich heritage in British and Jamaican street culture and that is such a great model for how a family business can grow and maintain its values. It’s been such a pleasure to work with the team in Somerset', Rose explains.

The Somerset-based shoemaker, founded in 1825, has an archive of over 22,000 styles. Many of these have been hugely popular in Jamaican culture since the 1920s, particularly in rude boy culture and dancehall music, with musicians and music producers like Jah Stitch, Vybz Kartel, Bunny Lee and DJ Trinity sporting styles such as the Desert boot, resulting in the book Clarks in Jamaica (2012) which celebrated the Caribbean island's 'champion shoe'.

'She immersed herself into the history of brand, spending countless hours in our archive, and with our product teams', reveals Tara McRae, Clarks’ Chief Marketing and Digital Officer. 'Martine was top of our list of Guest Creative Directors to partner with, due to her unconventional approach to design and development and her British-Jamaican background, both of which are core to our brand.'

'Clarks in Jamaica', 2012, Al Fingers

Available to buy in March 2024, the Martine Rose and Clarks collection revealed next month will include the Classic Oxford, Woman's Loafer and Sandal shoes. Rose has revealed she will be applying some of her key, exaggerated silhouettes to the styles, with the Classic Oxford inspired by the work of Austrian artist Erwin Wurm and his ‘Convertible Fat Cars’, blown up to cartoonish proportions. The Woman's Loafer will feature a squidgy leather sole, whilst as the Sandal is described as 'almost architectural' with an exaggerated strap and enlarged buckle detailing.



Napa in Napa

31 May 2019
Napa by Martine Rose in Ayia Napa, Cyprus as seen by SHOWstudio.

Behind The Scenes Film: Martine Rose S/S 21

20 January 2021
The designer and her team reveal the creative process behind creating an interactive fashion show 'What We Do All Day'.
Live Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion: Martine Rose S/S 19 Menswear

11 June 2018
Georgina Evans is joined by Liam Hess, Leanne Elliott Young, Finn Mactaggart, Barbara Grispini and Rob Nowill to discuss the Martine Rose S/S 19 show.
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