One of the first arrivals of the new season at ITK is english brand Clarks, and in particular iconic silhouette Wallabee. For 50 years these shoes were released in every Clarks collection, their distinctive design has become classic and in terms of comfort they can compete with your favourite pair of sneakers.
History of Wallabee begins in Germany. It was the place where several years before the first release of the legendary model, local manufacturer Sioux started to produce boots under named Grasshopper. Unusual design of Grasshopper was inspired by traditional shoes of native – wide moccasins, that were made of soft natural suede. In 1964 Clarks executives agreed with Sioux on production Grasshopper under their own brand, along with launching a new model for export to the United States.
First Wallabees were produced in Ireland at Padmore & Barnes factory, which at that time was owned by Clarks. Famous Wallabee upper consists from only two pieces of suede or leather and crepe rubber sole. Together with Desert boots, the new model was huge success. Wallabee was on the market all over the world. They were famous for comfort, and their unconventional design turned out to be versatile – Wallabee can fit any look.
Interesting that Jamaica had a great impact on popularity of Wallabee model. After declaring independence from Great Britain in early 60-s, country went through difficult times: high unemployment, street riots and inequality. While in Britain casuals movement was emerging, in Jamaica more and more young people disagreed to obey the system – they were called rudeboys. Making ends meet representatives of a new class often broke the law and preferred to do it in Clarks boots. Clarks in Jamaica became somewhat like jeans in the USSR – item that showed your status in the society. Embarrassingly expensive and hard to access Clarks became a symbol of the generation.
In late 70s popular Jamaican musicians moved to the US. Favourite Wallabees travelled with them. As a result in 90s this silhouette could be often seen on feet of hip hop stars. Hype was fueled by Wu-Tang debut album that couldn’t do without a line in the track about Wallabee. Thanks to Wu-Tang this model became the symbol of hip-hop. Over years you could see Wallabees worn by Drake and Kanye West, MF DOOM and Kid Cudi. It seems that for hip-hop culture Wallabees mean as much as sneakers.
Clarks Wallabee is still on of the most popular model of boots in the world. Their own Wallabees were designed by Supreme, Stussy and Futura, the best sneaker stores from all over the world and many others. Wallabee is the choice of director Wes Anderson, Noel Gallagher and the main hero of “Breaking Bad” Walter White. Wallabee – is an item with a rich history, that everyone should try at least once. Look for the right size at ITK, you will like it.