Whoever coined the phrase “as tough as old boots” definitely owned Dr. Martens. Anyone with a pair can attest that their iconic leather boots stand the test of time — physically, but also culturally. Meaning the brand is one of the rare few who’ve confronted multiple shifts in culture and fashion and withstood the battering winds of change.
As a result, Dr. Martens has come to symbolize a tenacious never-say-die attitude — a spirit transferred to those who adopt the brand into their outfits. Channeling this sentiment, Dr. Martens has launched Tough As You, a content series celebrating the DM’s wearers who’ve helped define what it means to be resilient in the face of adversity. “We want to show the only thing tougher than a Dr. Martens boot is the person wearing it,” Docs declares.
Nakhane, Sarah Lu, Blaine Harrison, and Sistren lead the charge and front the series, each having overcome some form of prejudice or hardship to become pioneers in their field.
Sarah Lu left a 15-year career in corporate advertising to learn the ancient art of hand poke tattooing; Nakhane is a musician and singer whose film The Wound was censored nationwide in South Africa; Blaine Harrison is the Mystery Jets frontman and his experience with spina bifida has inspired him to campaign against inaccessible gig venues; Sistren is a queer African-British collective using podcasting, radio, and other outlets to build a safe space for people to explore their identities. The series has been shot by London-based photographer Alex de Mora who has built his career by defying conventions and carving his own path.
Check out the visuals above and find out more about the artists at dr.martens.com.