Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Chioma Nnadi writes about Clarks sand suede Wallabees.
In a potted history of Clarks Wallabee fame, there are a ton of really amazing highlights. Aaliyah’s stylistic genius in the video for “Hot like Fire,” where she wears one red Wallabee and one black Wallabee is definitely up there. Ghostface, who probably custom dyes his collection to match every outfit, is obviously a defining moment on the timeline too. Personally they have a special place in my heart because these were the first and only pair of shoes I stood in line for, and it’s a comforting vestige of my teenage years that I keep the tag on them even when they’re falling apart, just a touch flossy. Back then, you wore them with a Click suit (think a baggy corduroy ensemble that Shabba might rock), or paired them with acid wash jeans—one leg rolled up higher than the other. To be honest, it’s in Jamaica that they’ve mastered the art of wearing them. On a good day in Kingston, you’ll spot Clarks you never knew existed, like knee-high desert boots and red-gold-and-green Wallabees. Basically the styling comes down to skanking, so when you put these shoes on, take off your socks (better grip with the floor when you’re dancing), and loosen up the laces just enough to put some attitude in the sensible sole.