I have long since been an admirer of Clarks and the way they have created such an iconic style. It is fair to say that my Wallabees are a solid staple in my shoe rotation, and I can’t fault the well-known design we’re all accustomed to. I have always wondered, however, what it might look like if Clarks were ever to create a trainer.
Well, my dreams have been answered in the form of the Lockhill shoe. The design is part of a collaboration with American designer Ronnie Fieg, a name synonymous in the fashion world with brand collaborations, having worked on over fifty with brands such as New Balance, Asics, Adidas and Saucony.
The line, titled “The 8th Street Collection”, features two trainer designs. The name “Lockhill” refers to one of the first ever Clarks factories located in a rural Somerset town. Taking inspiration from sporty aesthetics (something familiar in Fieg’s designs), the Lockhill boasts a runner-style design with an elevated material execution, including a suede upper and genuine crepe sole unit.
The look of the shoe is quite preppy, and clearly reflects the athletic style that Fieg has built his image around. In recent years, we have seen a sharp rise in brands curating collections that mix sport and luxury (think Sporty and Rich), and this collection is cleverly following the wave. It is undoubtedly a smart move for Clarks, and it’s interesting to see such an iconic British brand be blended with American style.
The stamp detailing on the shoe is quite possibly the most impressive element of the design; it oﬀers an extra hint of history, pushing forward the British heritage. The quintessential Clarks tag sits surprisingly harmoniously with the American-looking upper design – you would almost expect the blend to not work. It is a pleasant surprise to see just how well these two styles sit together.
All in all, this is certainly a fantastic collaboration and a super sleek design idea. Bravo, Clarks.
Written by Tom Loughran