When discussing footwear styles that represent the city of New York, the three main silhouettes to consider are the Nike Air Force 1, the Timberland 6 Inch Boot, and the Clarks Wallabee. To celebrate the 55th anniversary of the iconic Wallabee and its connection to NYC, Clarks has launched a documentary short titled “Soles of the City.” The film is directed by Set Free Richardson and stars some notable NYC-based Clarks enthusiasts.
First introduced by Jamaican immigrants in the ’70s and ’80s, the Wallabee quickly became the front runner of elevated style in New York. The documentary, narrated by Jadakiss, features the likes of April Walker, Ronnie Fieg, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and more, each describing their personal connection with the classic silhouette.
The documentary shows the influence the silhouette has on the hip-hop community, with notables such as Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface and Raekwon embracing the Wallabees as part of their uniform. The doc also talks about Ghostface Killah’s custom split-dyed Wallabees featured on his Ironman record, while Dave East recounts the Wallabee being a staple on the set of Wu-Tang: An American Saga.
The list of memories and heritage built by the Wallabee transcends it to timeless status. “It’s always going to be a premier shoe to wear on any occasion,” says Harlem rapper Smoke DZA. “It’ll always be the most comfortable shoe.” From Caribbean diaspora roots to the takeover in New York, the moccasin-style crepe sole Wallabee is ingrained into art, fashion, and music.
The “Clarks and New York: Soles of The City” documentary can be viewed above.