On Friday May 6, Wallabee signature cobbler Clarks Originals hosted a screening of the short version of the street-style documentary film Clarks and New York: soles of the city. Among footwear, the Wallabee has been a gem in the street fashion wardrobe spanning a variety of style aesthetics, cultural foundations, and footwear prowess for the high consumer.
the city soles is an extension of the narrative that stems from predominantly urban cultures that have embraced the design of Clarks Originals shoes. Previously, in 2012, a book titled Clarks in Jamaica allowed viewers to understand the sartorial effect Clarks Originals and the Desert Boot, in particular, have had on culture in Kingston and Jamaican culture as a whole, expanding the pages of a 2021 edition.
The documentary has now brought a visual narration of Clarks’ culture-changing effects to the big screen and teases a diary version delving into and attributing the Caribbean and New York hip hop scene to the Wallabee’s global success. Additionally, the film is produced and directed by legendary street culture and New York maven, Set Free Richardson, and directed by the team at Clarks Originals.
In the documentary film, a host of hip hop’s most notable individuals and groups, as well as street fashion designers, would recount their experience with the Clarks Originals Wallabee, reflecting on the classic staple and its utility in an urban environment. The Wallabee shoe is deified, seen as a “trophy” described by Jadakiss, who narrated the film. The film features characters like Ghostface Killah and Raekwon from Wu-Tang Clan, Styles P from rap trio The LOX, rapper Dave East who stars in Wu-Tang: an American saga like Method Man, streetwear connoisseur Bahr Brown, Walker Wear founder April Walker, graffiti artist Futura, New York stylist Danie Sierra, KITH founder Ronnie Fieg and Sweet Chick founder John Seymour, some of whom were in the room projection.
Stories are told of where to go in New York, either to buy a brand new pair or to customize a handful of pairs; scenes iconized by hip hop on Ghostface Killah album cover Iron Man. Traveling overseas to foreign lands and seeing the famous Wallabee for the first time, the Wallabee holds the memories, not just for someone like Futura, it’s the same for even the global head of marketing at Clarks Originals, James Frapwell, who spoke to his shoe looks with the post-screening panel.
A panel moderated by Set Free Richardson featured the film’s narrator Jadakiss, Raekwon, Frapwell and Tara McRae, Marketing and Digital Director of Clarks Originals. As everyone spoke of the thoughtful approach to making the Clarks Originals Wallabee shoe an icon, the Clarks team highlighted the importance and discipline involved in making a film that empowers the true purveyors of Wallabee culture to tell their unfiltered stories.
The statement shoe that transcended its origins from the birthplace of Clarks shoes, Somerset, England, which is also Frapwell’s hometown, would connect multiple worlds of hip hop and street culture globally. To tell these dimensional stories is to tell the story of Clarks in music and fashion, and to grow the legend of the Wallabee. The film will be released on May 23, 2022.