British footwear label Clarks Originals has been on something of a collaboration conveyor belt in recent years, with its instantly-recognisable silhouettes — mainly the Wallabee — and its archetypal crepe sole a canvas for a plethora of brands from across the globe.
From streetwear giants and European boutiques, to hip-hop legends and international footballers, the Somerset-based label has been a part of some of the most exciting and sought-after footwear collaborations in recent years.
Following the launch of its “Jamaica Pack” last week, we’re journeying through 10 of Clarks Originals’ most successful and pleasing collaborations to-date.
Clarks Originals has been collaborating with New York’s Supreme for almost a decade now. From the pair’s Wallabee four-pack 9 years ago, to its bandanna print-covered collection for Spring/Summer 2019, the pair have always managed to strike the right chord. For its Fall/Winter collection later that year, though, the two brand’s offered up its most understated capsule to date. Four Wallabees arrived in either “Regal Purple”, “Traditional Tan”, “Classic Camouflage” or “Bold Black” and were dressed in an all-over GORE-TEX coating, with the crepe sole switched up for a more lightweight and durable Vibram iteration. Needless to say they sold out pretty quickly.
After first linking up in 2015, Stüssy reunited with Clarks Originals for a two-piece paisley-inspired capsule in late 2019. Focusing on the classic Wallabee silhouette, the pair opted for a Bovine leather upper in both “Sage” and “Rust” colorways, each of which boasted a paisley pattern across the collar which sat atop the signature crepe sole. Understated, yet classy, this collab is arguably Clarks Originals’ most stand-out in recent years.
Carhartt WIP conveyed its penchant for durable workwear in its collaboration with Clarks Originals in early 2019. Working with the Wallabee Boot, the American label gave a nod to a nod to the Michigan Shore Coat with an autumnal brown colorway, while the other was draped in “Olive Camo”, paying homage to military references that run throughout the brand’s collections. Both styles also featured the signature Clarks Originals crepe sole alongside a stain- and water-resistant suede upper from the Charles F. Stead tannery.
Clarks Originals reunited with Wu Wear in 2018 for a three-piece capsule that paid tribute to arguably the shoe’s most famous wearers. A shoe intrinsically linked with hip-hop, the Wu-Tang Clan — alongside the likes of Biggie and Ghostface Killah — really put the British footwear brand on the map in the 1990s. With an array of collaborations under their belt already, Clarks Originals and Wu Wear sought inspiration from the group’s “Ice Cream” and “Glaciers of Ice” lyrics for their 2018 release. Both water and stain-resistant, each iteration featured a swirl-patterned upper on “Navy” and “Maple” colorways with full leather trims and Wu Tang’s iconic logo on the heel band fob.
Aimé Leon Dore
Celebrating the Wallabee’s unfathomable link with 90s U.S. hip-hop, Teddy Santis’ Aimé Leon Dore label enlisted rapper Nas as the face of its Fall/Winter 2019 campaign. Comprising four bold colorways of orange, green, black and maple, the rapper was shot sporting vibrant takes on the Wallabee silhouette, each of which had been crafted using a textured Casentino wool instead of the traditional suede, and completed with a co-branded fob and an Aimé Leon Dore pull tag at the heel.
Showcased with a lookbook starring Manchester City and England footballer Raheem Sterling, Clarks Originals’ collaborative release alongside BAPE was a sight to behold. The Japanese label is renowned for its striking camo pattern, which adorned two takes of the high-top Wallabee silhouette. Arriving alongside two more subtle Desert Boots, each Wallabee boasted patterned side panels, alongside either a pink or blue upper, atop a crisp white jagged Vibram sole.
Following his starring as the face of the BAPE campaign, Sterling himself released his own Wallabee Boot with Clarks Originals shortly after. Drawing on his and the brand’s shared Jamaican heritage, the footballer was born and raised in the Maverley district of Kingston, a region that continues to play a big role in his life. Inspired by the country’s rich cultural heritage, Sterling dressed the Wallabee Boot in a khaki green, with a contrasting black collar and sole, while the tongue lining featured the Jamaican national motto – “Out of many, one people”. Clarks Originals also set up a community partnership with Maverley Primary & Junior High School in Kingston, Sterling’s alma mater, as well as gifting every pupil a pair of brand new Wallabees.
Linking up with Japanese label BEAMS, Clarks Originals delivered a GORE-TEX variation of its signature Desert Boot for Fall/Winter 2020. The Desert Rock, as it was dubbed, was an all-weather boot designed to combat harsh weather conditions, but in comfort too. The pair — who have linked on a number of occasions on the Wallabee — dressed the boot in smooth black leather and a dark navy suede, all of which was weather-proof thanks to its GORE-TEX coating.
Clarks Originals linked up with Amsterdam-based imprint Patta for two monochromatic takes on its Desert Trek silhouette in mid 2019. Born out of a desire to highlight the silhoutte’s importance on Jamaican culture, both brands opted for soft leather on the upper, with patent leather panels on either side alongside debossed Patta and Trekman branding. Tonal stitching and laces elevated the shoe’s attention to detail, each of which arrived in either a clean white, or all-black colorway.
Japanese streetwear label NEIGHBORHOOD have been collaborating with Clarks Originals for over a decade now. After a number of takes on the classic Desert Boot, the pair opted to rework of the classic Desert Trek and Wallabee for Fall/Winter 2019. Equipped with technical materials and dressed in NEIGHBORHOOD’s signature monochromatic palettes, each pair featured an eye-catching tooth print on the upper that sat atop a crisp and lightweight Vibram sole. GORE-TEX dressed each silhouette, both of which were completed with a duo of hangtags: one with a NEIGHBORHOOD text logo, the other with a Clarks Originals motif.