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Clarks in Jamaica is a colourful, in-depth study into Clarks’ celebrated status in Jamaica, where for decades they have ruled as the “champion shoes”. Starting with the origins of the Clarks brand in 1825, the book goes on to detail the arrival of the brand in the West indies over one hundred years ago, the adoption of the Desert Boot as the rude boy and Rasta shoe of choice in the 1960s, and the filtering of this popularity into reggae and dancehall song lyrics.
Featuring current and historic photographs, interviews and never-before-seen archive material, this classic style reference explores how footwear made by a Quaker firm in the quiet English village of Street, Somerset became the “baddest” shoes in Jamaica and an essential part of the island’s culture.
Updated with new content, the revised second edition includes interviews with dancehall artists such as Ninjaman, Chronixx and Jahvillani, behind-the-scenes photographs from the film Rockers, insights into Jamaica’s favourite styles of Clarks from former company employees who were involved in their creation, and an expanded chapter on Jamaican style detailing the histories of fashion staples such as the string vest (mesh marina), Arrow shirt, knits ganzie and beaver hat.
Beautifully presented and thoroughly researched, Clarks in Jamaica is a fitting tribute to Clarks’ deep roots in Jamaican culture and the rich cultural exchange that has taken place between Jamaica and the UK.
Researched, written and designed by Al Fingers. Chief photographer Mark Read.
240 pp, hardback Published by One Love Books, 2021 (second edition) 223 × 287 mm English