In Jamaica, Clarks are loved like no other brand. They are the island’s ruling name in footwear — the “champion shoes” — and it has been that way for as long as anybody can remember. This book celebrates the rich history of Clarks in Jamaica, with a focus on the Jamaican reggae and dancehall musicians who have worn and sung about Clarks shoes through the years. Documenting the origins of the Clarks brand in 1825 through to the introduction of their shoes into Jamaica in the 1920s and the impact of styles such as the Desert Boot, Wallabee and Desert Trek on the island, Clarks in Jamaica 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. Building on the success of the first release in 2011, this updated second edition includes new interviews, previously unseen photographs, insights into Jamaica’s favourite styles of Clarks from former company employees, and an expanded chapter on Jamaican fashion detailing the histories of island fashion staples such as the mesh marina (string vest), Arrow shirt, knits ganzie and beaver hat. Beautifully presented and thoroughly researched, Clarks in Jamaicais a wonderful document of Clarks’ deep roots in Jamaican culture, a fitting tribute to the rich cultural exchange that has taken place between Jamaica and the UK that will appeal as much to Jamaicaphiles and lovers of Clarks shoes as to musicologists, fashion stylists and cultural historians.
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