Versayce went along to the Clarks’ press day last week on behalf of S&TS to preview the autumn/winter collections.
Given some of the excruciating situations and characters on TV show Mary Queen of Shops, anyone would think Mary Portas was addicted to pain. Her current level of ubiquity certainly suggests she has a schedule punishing enough for an incarcerated criminal.
Not so her capsule range for Clarks‘ autumn/winter 2012 collection, which despite featuring dangerously high heels, is constructed, we were told, using comfort technologies allowing for striking looks without so much as a squished little toe. This continues Mary’s relentless quest to make businesses better understand and provide for their customers. Her line is squarely aimed to meet the demands of women whose lives are chock full of kids and work, and who insist they’ll look stunning while keeping the entire dinner service spinning. Running around maybe more conducive to trainers and flats, but where’s the fun in that?
Clarks unquenchable thirst for collaboration continues in their main and Originals collections. Harris Tweed and Jaguar Shoes Collective are recruited from the UK, while Velour (from Sweden) and Rocky Mountain Featherbed (US) bring accents from further afield. While the shape of the shoes are on the whole conservative and comfortable, you can’t fault Clarks for their determination to balance these core values with relevance to today’s trend-led shoe buyers. Where they succeed is with those designs which eschew the clunky and deliver on sharp lines, or where the choice of material really hollers quality and charm. Here are our pick of the pairs…