Heritage and innovation are characteristically in tension. As a brand that can trace its conception to 1901, Dr. Martens has competently piloted the thin space between these concepts for 122 years, fluently harmonizing traditional, proven craftsmanship with playful explorations. Between Yohji Yamamoto, BAPE, Rick Owens, and Our Legacy Work Shop, Dr. Martens’ collaborative roster speaks to their willingness to coax the brand outside their conventional design choices. Regardless of the partnership, whether it be the yellow stitching, supple leather, or PVC sole, it never takes too long to ID a Doc.
Helmed by Darren McKoy, Dr. Martens’ creative director since March 2022, the brand finds itself in a unique cultural moment. Currently trends and trend-forecasting move at meteoric velocities, placing pressure on household brands like Dr. Martens to stay on the vanguard of what’s novel and interesting without compromising the pragmatic, solution-forward ethos from which the company originally found its footing. We chopped it up with McKoy in the Doc’s Camden flagship store in London to learn about his journey through footwear, sources of inspiration, and vision for the brand within the mercurial fashion moment we find ourselves in today.