Drake seems quite the laid back type, especially in his music. With songs like “Find Your Love” and “Controlla” that make you want to “dutty wine” on the dance floor. He is known for creating feel-good music with a Caribbean vibe, displaying how much he enjoys the good life and with a pretty laid-back approach to everything he does. But what we can all agree with is that the “Jumpman” rapper is serious about his personal style. So it is no surprise that since his career has catapulted, he has made deals with major brands like Jordan to create his own products. Recently, Drake has managed to team up with footwear titan Clarks to pay homage to the classic Desert Boot with his own limited edition OVO x Desert Boot.
If you haven’t heard of the iconic Desert Boot, either you must have been under a rock or you really must have been under a rock. Clarks has been a mainstay in the footwear industry for more than over a century, while other brands seem to have gone as quickly as they have come, or could not withstand the test of time or footwear evolution. Whatever the case may be, it really is a major deal (pun seriously intended) for such a classic company to join forces with a pop culture icon.
Now back to the Desert Boot.
Its rich history began in 1941, in England where Clarks co-founder Nathan Clark designed a boot that allowed his fellow soldiers, also called “desert rags” who had to acclimatize into society post-war but needed a comfortable boot style they could wear at home. Additionally, the desert boot was suitable for those fighting in the desert, hence the name. Since then, men, women and children from the streets of Somerset to New England have been wearing the timeless yet versatile boot, that shows no signs of retirement any time soon, especially with such creative partnerships as with Drake.
What also makes this collaboration pretty special is that Drake is not shy about his tribute and love for all people, places, and “tings” Caribbean. The Desert Boot became the epitome of cool by the “rude boys”, a Jamaican term coined for men who exude the bad boy persona. And if you knew better, you wouldn’t dare leave home without a pair on your feet. They understood that the desert boot has a ” je ne sais pas quoi” that makes a t-shirt and jeans look so polished and refined. Jamaicans have embraced the desert boot into their culture to the extent that even a Clarks song was even created! So how befitting of Drake to give the classic footwear an update!
The collection has all the wonderful things that make the desert boot imitated, but never duplicated: the notable crepe sole, sleek design that’s virtually unchanged since the boot’s inception, and the hand crafted textiles by Clarks elite footwear engineers. What makes the OVO edition so distinctive is Drake’s October’s Very Own or OVO owl eyes-and-beak logo is embossed onto the suede, a golden owl on the lust-worthy Originals tag that comes with every desert boot designed, and mantra “Know Yourself” is also embossed on the inside of the tongue, so as the wearer is slipping them on, there is a gentle reminder to be a fearless individual. The collection comes in three colors: oakwood suede and black (which are already key colors in Clarks Original’s Collection), and a stunning purple.
Golden owl? Purple suede? Both are symbolic to Drake’s branding success. Is is also foretelling of his reign as prince of hip hop? Hmmmm. You decide while you hurry to grab a pair of these boots. If they aren’t soled out already. Yes, soled out.
Note: my original post is also on Level 21 Magazine’s website.