Highsnobiety

Something’s level of importance can usually be determined by whether it has its own day or not. Christmas and my birthday, for instance.

This year, for the very first time, Clarks Originals’ Wallabee shoe is joining this extremely prestigious club of importance with its inaugural Wallabee Day on April 26.

Dedicated to celebrating everything we know and love about the famed and most popular Clarks silhouette, Wallabee Day pays homage to the shoe’s storied history with a roll-out of collaborations and activations, plus customization events and social media challenges.

“We are delighted to announce the launch of our first Wallabee Day,” said Tara McRae, Clarks’ Chief Marketing & Digital Officer.

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“It’s such an iconic shoe loved by people across the world and has served as a blank canvas to artists, creators and cultures over many generations. Wallabee Day allows us to celebrate not just the shoe, but also all of the collaborators who help us reinvent the story, year after year.”

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But why April 26, I hear you ask? Well, according to Clarks historians, on April 26, 1971, an alarm was raised at New York’s JFK Airport with customs teams anticipating the arrival of 4,176 Wallabees from Clarks.

Customs called Clarks to check the animals were safe to handle and to discuss the lack of paperwork supplied to transport this number of live animals.

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Of course, there was a sense of relief when airport staff were informed that the crates did not, in fact, contain animals, but instead the then-new Wallabee silhouette.

For its first-ever Wallabee Day, Clarks teamed up with Wu-Tang Clan member (and renowned Wallabee head) Raekwon for a special photoshoot capturing the rapper in his shoes.

The British brand is also dropping limited-edition Wallabee releases alongside brands like Percival, Packer, and Papergirl, as well as X-Large and DOE of Japan and China respectively.

Since its release in 1968, the Wallabee has been at the center of everything Clarks has achieved.

From football terraces in the UK and the beaches of Jamaica to the streets of New York and Shibuya, Tokyo, the moccasin-like silhouette has been adopted by a plethora of cultures. 

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More recently the Wallabee has found itself at the heart of some of streetwear’s most-hyped collaborations alongside the likes of Aimé Leon Dore, Stüssy, and Supreme.

This year, though, Clarks’ Wallabee makes the jump from well-respected and much-loved shoe, to a very, very important shoe with its own day of the year. Happy Wallabee Day, to all.

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