Martine Rose named Clarks’ first-ever guest creative director

The London-based designer is set to present her inaugural Clarks designs during her upcoming men’s show in June.

By now, most of us are aware of the impact Martine Rose has had on the current fashion and streetwear landscape over the past few years. Following a viral collaboration with Nike that firmly solidified her as one to watch, it would seem that Clarks wants a piece of the hugely successful pie, naming Rose as the first-ever guest creative director of the classic footwear brand.

“Clarks is something that’s so intrinsic to British culture and obviously Jamaican culture because it’s huge in Jamaica because of the Commonwealth. There’s a couple of British brands that are really big in Jamaica because Britishness is a sign of quality, and you take it out of context it takes on a life of its own, like a myth,” Rose told WWD.

She has reportedly designed three pairs of shoes for the British footwear brand, which will debut during London Men’s Fashion Week in June. For the collaboration, and to stay true to Clark’s DNA, Rose has made comfort a priority alongside design, “by creating shoes that look and feel like pillows by adding extra padding to the insoles and using feather downs in shoes, which the Clarks company hadn’t ever worked on before.”

The shoes reportedly riff on classic Clarks silhouettes, like the loafer, Oxford shoe and sandal, all interpreted in colours that are synonymous with Rose’s identity. She added, “There has to be something familiar about it so you can get the riff. We’ve actually tried to keep it more classic, so it’s very simple, there’s a black, oxblood and snakeskin.”

“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,” said Tara McRae, chief marketing and digital officer at Clarks told WWD.

As mentioned, the shoes will debut alongside Rose’s ready-to-wear offering during London Men’s Fashion Week next month. She has hinted that the show will be held in north London and will be bigger in scale than previous shows.

WriterChris Saunders