Today’s outfit is sort-of inspired by Alessandro Squarzi (the founder of Fortela) who’s image you would have no doubt seen all over the internet (usually for an article showing stylish older men).
I’ve noticed that he likes wearing white jeans, a vest and a double-rider or M-65 jacket. It’s a great look that is easy to put together and relaxed. I’ve taken my cues from that but changed it a little - the jacket is a light overshirt and the jeans are faded blue not white. The chukkas are crepe-soled which makes them very comfortable to walk on and this shade of suede actually looks really good with dark denim.
While stationed in Burma with the British Army, Nathan Clark notices many off-duty officers wearing simple suede boots with crepe soles. He learns the boots come from a bazaar in Cairo. The officers, looking for a comfortable option that could survive the harsh desert conditions, had them specially made. Inspired, Clark begins cutting prototype patterns out of newsprint. He sends these clippings along with drawings back home to the village of Street in Somerset. He is convinced a version of this boot could be a new signature model for his family’s shoe business.
Upon his return to England, Clark sources the finest materials and shoemakers to transform his idea into reality. Using an existing last from a popular Clarks sandal, he begins to experiment. He incorporates the stitch-down construction used in other Clarks styles, but uses an orange thread to further distinguish the boot. Additionally, at a time when most men’s shoes were made from stiff, formal leather, Nathan opts for beige suede from nearby tannery, Charles F. Stead. The color of the suede closely resembles sand – subtly referencing the boot’s desert origins.
Nathan unveils his latest creation at the Chicago Shoe Fair in 1949. The deceptively simple silhouette and unusual crepe sole captivates style editors and customers alike. The warm reception confirms Clark’s hunch – the Clarks Desert Boot, deemed the world’s first “dress casual” shoe, is a runaway success.
The popularity of the Clarks Desert Boot soon spreads. Over the coming years, it symbolizes everything from teddy boy pomp and euro-chic to 60’s flamboyance, Cool Britannia and 21st century swagger. Around the world, revolutionaries, artists and original thinkers adopt the Desert Boot as part of their uniform. The simple silhouette becomes a legend.
The Clarks Desert Boot is the original desert boot. Its timeless silhouette has been copied by many, but never bettered. For decades, the Clarks Original logo in the foot bed and the official on-shoe tab labeled “Clarks The Original Desert Boot” have been symbols of originality and constant reminders of one man’s vision that ultimately sparked a footwear revolution.
The Desert Boot was designed in 1949 by Nathan Clark and launched at the Chicago Shoe Fair a year later. It’s inspiration was a crepe-soled boot made from rough suede in Cairo’s fabled Old Bazaar and the footwear of choice for off-duty Eighth Army officers. The simple lines and conspicuous comfort were an instant hit and the first ever casual shoe was born. The rest, as they say, is history. Often imitated but never bettered, sometimes different but in spirit always the same, long live the Originals Desert Boot.