London-Born Jamaican Designer Martine Rose Is New Creative Director At Clarks

Martine Rose, a designer based in London, has been named by the British shoemaker, Clarks, as the first guest creative director in the company’s history. Taking on her newly established role on May 23, 2023, Rose designed three pairs of shoes. Each design will make its debut during London Men’s Fashion Week in June.

Clarks Brand Big In Jamaica and England

According to Rose, the Clarks brand is “intrinsic” to the cultures of both England and Jamaica because of the Commonwealth. She believes Clarks and some other English brands are popular in Jamaica because “Britishness is a sign of quality.” Taking it out of context turns it into a myth, she added.

London-Born Jamaican Designer Martine Rose Is Clarks' Guest Creative Director

Clarks Approached Rose In 2022

The footwear firm approached designed Rose in 2022, and she made a visit to its headquarters in Somerset in England to learn more about the brand’s 200-year history. After spending time in the company archives, Rose put her unique stamp on classic Clarks, including the loafer, Oxford shoe, and sandal, with her characteristic emphasis on comfort.

Rose Expands Clarks Iconic “Stylized Comfort”

According to a report from Women’s Wear Daily, Rose has gone beyond Clarks basic focus on “stylized comfort” by adding extra-padded insoles and feather downs to her collaborative design in a process Clarks had not previously investigated. The colors she chose are particular to her vision and include black, oxblood, and snakeskin options. Rose acknowledged that the design had to remain somewhat familiar in order to “get the riff” and that efforts were made to keep things more classic.

Read: Clarks Releases Jamaican-Inspired Shoe Collection

Clarks Excited About Rose

The chief marketing and digital officer for Clarks, Tara McRae, stated that the company was very excited to have Rose on board. She was at the top of Clarks’ list of guest creative directors because of her unique approach to design and development, McRae said, adding that Rose’s British-Jamaican background made her the perfect choice as both Britain and Jamaica are core elements of the brand.

Rose Designs Slated For Sale In 2024

While Rose’s first designs for Clarks will debut on the runway in June 2023, the footwear will not be available for purchase until March 2024. Rose has left some hints that there could be a second collaboration in the summer of 2023, however, so fashion watchers are keeping an eye on what comes next for Rose.

Photo – Breaking Down Barriers w/Martine Rose | TMI

About the author

Staff Writer