It’s hard to surpass Clarks Desert Boots as a staple of coolness—the elegant, simple, utilitarian design never goes out of style. Cherished by beat poets, mod rockers, and Hollywood icons, they’ve been a hallmark of men’s style since entering the US market in 1949.
Defined but never bound by tradition and craftsmanship, Clarks has made sure, throughout the years, to keep the Desert Boot modern with subtle updates: The new 2’s and 221’s sport subtle updates that permit a more comfortable design, but they’re still in harmony with the rest of the boot’s lineage, including the original. “The balance between innovation and heritage is always a chief concern for the brand,” says Giorgio Presca, CEO of C&J Clark International.
In light of the shoe’s recent design updates, we caught up with Presca to learn more about the Desert Boot’s legacy and its continued relevance in modern menswear.
How do you strike a balance between tradition and innovation?
The new Desert Boot 2 and 221 are designed with our original intentions of function and utility, but enhanced to create an entirely new statement with an adjusted shape, volume, and added level of instant comfort. Sustainability is important—an individual pair can last decades, as it’s a style that only improves with time and becomes unique to the wearer.
What gives your boots their international appeal?
We view the Clarks Desert Boot as the most democratic shoe of all time. In a sea of choice, people tend to gravitate towards authenticity, and this is something that is recognized worldwide, in different cultures, spanning generations. Our desert boots are at once simple and highly sophisticated—making them endlessly versatile.
How do you envision Desert Boots for 2020 and beyond?
We continue to draw on the historic attributes and core design, while evolving for today with improved comfort technologies and materials, such as the OrthoLite® footbed, water repellent chrome-free suede, and thicker crepe sole. We also seek out opportunities to collaborate with groundbreaking designers, artists, and brands.
What’s the most important part of the Desert Boot’s legacy?
The people who wore them and continue to wear them—who make them fashionable, relevant for their everyday lives, and carry the legacy forward. With his creation, Nathan Clark introduced the iconic silhouette not only to Clarks, but to the broader fashion world. Today, you can find a number of imitators, but Clarks is the true original. And the boots are the clearest articulation of our current campaign: embraced then, relevant today, and set to remain so for decades to come.
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Source : Esquire