The Clarks Originals Desert Trek is a cult icon with a left-field base and a favourite amongst the Patta crew. Affectionately called the “Bank Robber” by Jamaicans (due to the trekman logo image on the shoe), the Desert Trek features in numerous unforgettable images worn by the island’s past and present legends.
For Patta co-founder Guillaume Schmidt, raising awareness surrounding Jamaica’s role in endorsing that particular style was an important element. “I don’t really think people are aware of this role. We see it as our mission to put certain things into perspective and this collaboration is our opportunity to do so.”
Inspired by the everyday but still a boastful style adopted by Jamaicans, Patta opted for crispy white and black colourways, with exquisite butter soft leather, patent leather side panels and contrast stitching for a more rudeboy ska and punk feel.
The lookbook was shot by acclaimed documentary photographer Stacii Samidin in Jamaica’s capital city, Kingston. A relationship built on admiration for Stacii’s lifework Societies made him the perfect choice to shoot this campaign, says Guillaume: “It naturally fits into what he does. He doesn’t lose sight of the bigger perspective, always making sure the communities he visits are represented right.” Set in Vineyard Town and Rollington Town, the stills capture the ways in which Jamaican communities continue to be a global cultural authority. The photographer featured friends Ledger and Damus, two main figures of these communities.
Supporting Jamaican music is important to Caribbean-born Guillaume and reflective of Clarks history. Growing up in Surinam, reggae played on bus journeys to the countryside while his parents played Burning Spear’s “Marcus Garvey” a thousand times and everything from Bob Marley, Alpha Blondy, Steel Pulse, Mighty Diamonds to Buju Banton. Hence the reasoning behind emerging new school reggae artist, Mortimer, is featured alongside Ledger and Damus.
What started with a simple photoshoot, grew into a personal relationship with the many components that Clarks represents. The artists featured in this shoot lead to boundaries being pushed between music, art and culture. “We owe this in part to Jamaican culture. The island and it’s people is one of the reasons this shoe is still hot,” concludes Guillaume.