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Wallabees are the new essential of the female wardrobe

The flash sold-out of the new collaboration between Clarks and the Japanese brand Kowga

Wallabees are the new essential of the female wardrobe The flash sold-out of the new collaboration between Clarks and the Japanese brand Kowga

The new collaboration between Clarks and the Japanese brand Kowga has interpreted the silhouette of the classic Wallabee model in a feminine key, dressing the suede in three colors: "Black", "Maple" and "Berry". Released in mid-November and sold out shortly after, the collection it's the sign that the Wallabees are the new essential of the women's wardrobe. The model's classic silhouette took some time to break into the women's-oriented market, but saw a boom in menswear thanks to collaborations with BAPE, Carhartt WIP, END., Stüssy, Aimé, KITH, Supreme and so on, becoming the reference footwear for cool kids all over the world as well as the new frontier of post-sneaker streetwear. Whoever wears them, LeBron James, Florence Welch or Walter White in Breaking Bad, Wallabees are the passepartout item that inexplicably know how to add a casual touch to a preppy outfit or a preppy touch to a casual outfit.

The success of the capsule derives from a calibrated mix of two winning factors, the intuition of proposing a female version of the Wallabees, which despite being a shoe with a fully genderless allure represent a classic of men's clothing, and the idea of ​​collaborating with a small Tokyo-based womenswear brand in the wake of Clarks' larger plan to strengthen its hold on the Asian market. The popularity of the Desert Boot and Wallabees grew in the 1980s among Tokyo retailers who wanted to cater to a youth-oriented market who looked to London, rather than Milan or Paris, as the true street fashion capital. The young Japanese "cool hunters" considered the creators of Desert Boot to be members of the A [quascutum], B [urberry], C [larks] of the British brands and even today in Asia the Desert Boots remain the favorite item of footwear for a sophisticated clientele. It is no coincidence that Li Ning, the gymnast-entrepreneur who lit the Olympic flame during the 2008 China Games and founder of the homonym sportswear brand, bought 51% of one of the oldest shoe brands in Great Britain, tearing together with the private equity firm Lion Rock the monopoly to the founding family, sole owner until 2020, in an agreement that valued Clarks at £ 200 million.

Although their iconic design is based on a type of German moccasin called Grashopper, the Clarks Originals Wallabee have established themselves in the common imagination as a quintessentially British symbol, as much as a cup of tea at 5pm or Queen Elizabeth. First unveiled in the late 1960s, although the old school design may resemble what your grandfather would wear to go fishing, today they have established themselves as one of the most loved footwear among streetwear trendsetters. But how did the Wallabee model, from the official British college uniform, to become the icon of hip hop culture and streetwear in general? To understand this, you have to go back to a few decades ago. The moc-toe in 50 years of history has created a bridge between the casual style, suitable for men, women, seniors and children, and the uniform par excellence of the youth subcultures of the 70s, 80s and 90s, revived by brands such as Timberland, Paraboot and Sebago in different declinations, but remaining in history precisely for the Wallabee model signed by Clarks.

Clarks created the Wallabee Boot in 1957, an evolution of the moccasin combined with the crepe sole invented by Nathan Clark in the 1950s, still used today in the brand's new models. As in the case of the creepers, which have become a symbol of the Teddy Boys and a cult punk fashion, the Wannabee are inextricably linked to hip hop aesthetics and its variations. The aesthetic manifesto of Reggae music by Jamaican rebels and Britpop by Oasis and The Verve, becomes a pioneering accessory of street culture with the Wu-Tang Clan who, with the Wallabee on their first album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) make moc-toe a trademark of the group. The Clarks model born as an upgrade of a soldier's shoe has preserved the link with hip-hop also thanks to artists such as Drake, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West.

Clarks Original continues to have a classic appeal to this day and it is particularly popular among musicians. Florence Welch, Nick Cave, Bob Dylan, Dizzee Rascal and Robbie Williams were seen wearing them, while Jamaican dancehall star Vybz Kartel even wrote three songs in praise of Clarks, a symbol of Mods, Beatniks and of a hipster intellectual figure, still relevant today, who reads Kerouac and listens to The Kinks. The essential silhouette, the crepe sole and the suede upper of the Charles F. Stead tannery have maintained the same structure over time, impassive in front of the volatility of trends, the perfect point of contact between smart and casual, preppy and street and now also a trend of women's casualwear with Addison Rae as the new testimonial of the brand and influencers from all over the world who propose their looks with Wallabees on their feet.