Martine Rose Makes History as Clarks’ First Guest Creative Director

(Lead image via Knotoryus/Piczo)

Martine Rose joins Clarks as the brand’s first ever guest creative director. Rose is known in the world of fashion for her namesake label and is recognized in sneakers for her Nike Shox MR4.

Clarks first reached out to Rose in 2022 and invited her to visit their headquarters in Somerset. She eagerly embarked on the journey, driven by her curiosity to delve into the rich history of the company and witness firsthand the craftsmanship behind Clarks shoes. Being that Rose is British-Jamaican, Clarks holds a special place in her heart.

“Clarks is something that’s so intrinsic to British culture and obviously Jamaican culture because it’s huge in Jamaica because of the Commonwealth. There’s a couple of British brands that are really big in Jamaica because Britishness is a sign of quality and you take it out of context it takes on a life of its own, like a myth,” said Rose in an interview with WWD.

“Martine was top of our list of guest creative directors to partner with, due to her unconventional approach to design and development and her British-Jamaican background, both of which are core to our brand,” said Tara McRae, chief marketing and digital officer at Clarks.

So far, Rose has designed three pairs of Clarks including a loafer, an Oxford shoe, and sandal. Rose aims to reimagine the silhouettes in her own way with a major focus on comfort.

In pursuit of comfort, Rose wanted to create shoes that look and feel like pillows by adding extra padding to the insoles and using feather downs in shoes, which Clarks hasn’t done before.

Overall, it seems that versatility and everyday wearability will be what buyers can expect from the upcoming Clarks by Martine Rose collection.

“We’ve actually tried to keep it more classic, so it’s very simple, there’s a black, oxblood and snakeskin,” said Rose.

In Rose’s namesake label, the designer’s use of contrasting elements in street, sport, and premium tailoring have allowed her to standout in the competitive industry of fashion. One could only hope that these same design themes will be incorporated into her work at Clarks.

Earlier this year, Rose made her debut as special guest designer at Pitti Uomo. The Pitti Uomo show was a career highlight for Rose as it was her first outside the U.K.

“It’s hard to ignore the platform and the prestige of Pitti and I’m so honored to have been asked. I definitely feel I’m more on a global stage and I don’t have the security blanket of showing in London and knowing the city,” Rose told WWD.

Martine Rose’s upcoming show will be held in North London and it will be her biggest one yet. Footwear from Clarks is to be expected, so be sure to keep your eyes glued to the runway.

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