By Kathryn Helmore
Transcending trends, making a statement and never succumbing to predictability is an art form few brands can maintain. Steeped in controversy and contradiction, Dr. Martens footwear has been a battle cry of fascist skinhead movements in the 70s, the punt of protest to 80s punk movements and accessorized ripped jeans and introspection as the footwear of 90s grunge.
As part of their AW 2019 line Dr. Martens have collaborated with touring British royalty The Who, once again proving that their boots don’t just walk, they talk.
The Who line captures the essence of Mod fashion culture: its boots, loafers and accessories subvert sacred symbols and pay homage to non-conformity.
With The Who arriving in Vancouver on October 21, this collab is a relevant throwback. Turn on “My Generation” and tune into the history, ideology and rebellion locked into the iconic stitching and grooved edges of this latest collection.
Released April 1, 1960, the iconic 1460 rejected the timid, old-fashioned uniform of working class men. For the young generation, it was a tool of rebellion. With a Royal Air Force roundel at the heel, the 1460 WHO pays homage to The Who and Mod culture’s subversion of British symbolism and tradition.
When paired with tailor-made suits with narrow lapels and Nouvelle Vague haircuts, the Adrian Smooth loafer, first released in 1980, was a disruption of gender roles. With the effeminate double tassel and kiltie fringe, combined with a Union Jack on the front panel, the Smooth Black is no exception.
The second style Dr. Martens ever made, it was crafted for industry yet made a statement when worn with braces, close cropped haircuts and non-conformity.
The 1481 WHO Black Smooth replaces the trademark yellow stitching for a WHO red that complements the band’s symbol located at the heel.
The WHO Backpack
Crafted from the hardwearing Kiev Leather and designed with a double carry handle and a buckle-fastened external pocket, the backpack does what Dr. Marten’s and The Who do best: fuse performance with style and expression.
The Pressler WHO
Compared to its leather clad peers, The Pressler is more at home in a half pipe than a political rally. A modern skate shoe with a comfortable lightweight sole, this comparatively low profile piece is brought to life with the iconic WHO logo in the corner and red stripes decorating the shoe’s stitching and grooved edges.
The Toomey WHO
For those who wish to rail against conformity, The Toomey WHO is Doc Martens take on the slip-on canvas shoe. With a lightweight sole and aggressive bumper, decorated with the WHO roundel on the lip and signature red and blue arrows on the ridge, the shoe embodies Doc Marten’s commitment to practical and comfortable style.
Dr. Martens, The Who