Clarks Names Martine Rose as First Guest Creative Director
Martine Rose has previously worked with Nike, Balenciaga, Napapijri, Tommy Hilfiger, Pitti Uomo, and has collaborated with Kendrick Lamar.
Clarks has named Martine Rose as its first guest creative director.
According to WWD, the British shoe company approached Rose last year, to which she immediately responded, “yes.” She later visited the Clarks headquarters in Somerset, England.
“Clarks is something that’s so intrinsic to British culture and obviously Jamaican culture because it’s huge in Jamaica because of the Commonwealth,” she told the publication. “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.”
She added, “I was really struck that they work so hard for comfort. They said when the buyers come in, one of the first things they do is twist the shoe around and squidge it.” She described that in her own designs, comfort is secondary to aesthetic.
Rose has designed three pairs of shoes, imprinting her own mark on Clarks’ loader, Oxford shoe, and sandal silhouettes in black, oxblood, and snakeskin. Her designs will first be seen on the runway and will later go on sale in March 2024.
“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,” Tara McRae, chief marketing and digital officer at Clarks, told WWD.
Rose has previously worked with Nike, Napapijri, Tommy Hilfiger, and most recently, Pitti Uomo, which landed her her first show outside of the U.K. She’s also worked in Paris with Balenciaga’s creative director Demna, on the brand’s menswear, and has also collaborated with Kendrick Lamar.