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 Mobolaji Dawodu talks about his pony hair Dr. Martens.
I was over in Europe a couple of weeks ago and you just could not avoid Dr. Martens. I mean that in a good way. I’ve been all over the world—Russia, Malaysia, Turkey—but something clicked about seeing all these wildly dressed, badass street kids on a cobblestone street in old Europe that made me realize that Docs are probably the single most recognizable shoe of rebellion in the world. Any young person, anywhere, who dresses outside the box, will likely go through a Docs phase. That’s a strong statement about shoes—people for whom individuality is most important, Docs complement their sense of pride, their growth as a creative person.
What I like about contemporary Docs is that they even rebel within their aesthetic, trying out new colors and textures and shapes that shouldn’t work but always do. In Europe, I saw these amazing gold metallic boots (which you might’ve noticed here a few years ago). So shiny! Seeing them made an impression on me, made me want to find my own pair that was weird and different and that I could rock with confidence. When I came back, I found these oxblood pony hair joints and something about them felt so rebellious. Pony hair is truly punk, in a way. It’s straw-like, not really soft to the touch and even a bit prickly. But it’s never overpowering, a more subtle subversion than a lot of other distinctive fashion statements. After all, any rebel worth their weight in salt knows that the strongest impression should come from the person, not the shoes.