Clarks Originals is excited to bring to us their documentary short, “SOLES OF THE CITY”. The film, which was directed by Set Free Richardson, chronicles the brand’s role in hip hop’s most formative years and its connection to New York City over the past 50 years.
The short features first-person accounts from cultural icons such as April Walker, Ronnie Fieg, Futura, Dave East, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, as they describe their introduction to the Wallabee and how the classic Clarks style became synonymous with hip-hop in its most formative era.
Tracing the emergence of the brand’s relevance to its popularization among Jamaican immigrants arriving in the US during the late 70s and early 80s, the film goes on to illustrate the deep-rooted connection between the sneaker-alternative and the formation of new communities defined by resilience and forged identity. First introduced in 1967, the Wallabee has an enduring legacy and ties to many different sub-cultures and countercultures throughout its history.
“It’s the sole. It’s the sole. Look at it. It’s the gummy bottom. It’s incredible,” shares Styles P of his love for the Wallabee style.
While hip-hop established itself as more than just an underground phenomenon, the Wallabee became the uniform for artists like Run DMC, Slick Rick and KRS1 who wanted to stay true to the genre’s Caribbean diaspora roots. The 90s saw an explosion for the style in New York and on the hip-hop scene, largely thanks to the adoption by Staten Island’s Wu Tang Clan.
“Clarks was my shoe when it was time to get fly on a higher level than sneakers. They always made me stand out from the rest. I grew up on Wallabees so when I was asked to do the New York story, I said we gotta do it right – from the beginning of Hip Hop and how it rolled to where we are now,” shares Director Set Free Richardson.
The film is now available to the public to watch on ClarksUSA.com, the @ClarksOriginals Instagram and can also be found below.