As a long-time Clarks Originals loyalist, I’m not afraid to admit that I was a little apprehensive when the British footwear label revealed that it was embarking on a long-term sneaker project with Ronnie Fieg.
It wasn’t that I didn’t think Clarks could make sneakers (I mean, the brand more than knows its onions when it comes to footwear), it was more just: why?
For better or worse, I’ve always been of the mindset of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and at the time Clarks was having a bit of a moment and was fresh off of successful collaborations with the likes of Aimé Leon Dore, Stüssy, and Neighborhood, to name only a few.
Yet, when Fieg’s long-awaited Clarks debut finally dropped in April 2021, it all became clear. Very clear.
Titled 8th Street, the collaboration was the first proof there had been in a while that there’s more to Clarks than just Wallabees and Desert Treks (which, admittedly, wouldn’t necessarily a bad thing).
Taking Clarks’ prestige in creating timeless casual silhouettes and merging them with Fieg’s streetwear expertise, 8th Street was clearly more than just another collaboration, it was the unification we didn’t know we needed.
Fast-forward 18 months and Fieg and Clarks are back for their latest installment for Spring/Summer 2023, which sees the Kith founder revitalize previously-seen silhouettes in deep, pigmented colors.
The collection includes the Breacon, Lockhill and Sandford models in earth tones, deep blues, greens, and greys, three popular styles from the duo’s first few drops.
This release comes fresh off the back of another Fieg x Clarks collaboration with adidas, which saw the designer give the German sportswear label’s epochal Samba a Clarks twist with the addition of the iconic crepe sole.
If anything, the last 18 months are proof I had no reason to doubt Clarks’ sneaker capabilities from the outset and for that I am sorry. Let me tell you now: I’ll never doubt Clarks again. Promise.