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Many of us have been stepping out in Clarks since schooldays. Nowadays it’s Originals, back then it was the excitement of getting your feet measured in that whirling, clunking measuring machine. As those sides moved in, wondering whether that Skynet contraption would crush your tiny feet was one of the most exciting parts of the back to school ritual. The brand will always have a place our hearts. Interestingly, a similar affection for the Somerset brand has been bubbling under in Jamaica for decades now with the British import seeing a sudden surge in popularity with Vybe Kartel’s hit ‘Clarks’ – “Everybody haffi ask weh mi get mi Clarks/ Di leather hard, di suede soft, toothbrush get out di dust fast”.

Tapping into this renewed interest, Al Fingers is set to release this image heavy account of the shoes standing on the Island. “Through current and historic photographs, interviews, and previously unseen archival material, and with particular focus on the Jamaican musicians who have worn and sung about Clarks Originals shoes for years, this book explores how footwear made by a Quaker firm in the small, quiet, English village of Street, Somerset, came to be the “baddest” shoes in Jamaica.”

Text by Al Fingers, images by Mark Read. Available from Amazon

Words by Lena Dystant
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