Clarks Originals has linked up with U.S.-based label Sporty and Rich for a collaborative capsule highighting the U.K.-based brand’s iconic Wallabee silhouette. In a switch from the suede the Wallabee is known for, the shoe is offered in pebbled leather.
Available in merlot, cream puff and Robin’s egg blue, each shoe is detailed with Clarks Originals signature leather tag embossed with the Sporty and Rich logo in gold.
“When we started coming up with ideas, I immediately knew I wanted a soft, buttery, pebbled leather for the shoe,” Oberg explained. “This is my favorite type of leather and since Clarks Original is traditionally suede, I thought it would be a nice but subtle update. There really was no better shoe to work on for our first footwear collaboration, especially with Clarks Originals’ alignment with Sporty and Rich’s sustainability efforts.”
Commenting on the effort, Sporty and Rich founder Emily Oberg stated, “To me, the Wallabee embodies the sort of genderless image that I always try to incorporate into Sporty and Rich’s aesthetic. It perfectly ties together elegance and casual styles, not a dress shoe, but not quite a sneaker either. And the history of the shoe within ’90s culture has also made it a versatile icon to all different groups of people.”
Reflecting Sporty and Rich’s emphasis on making use of sustainable and ethically-sourced textiles, the leather for the Wallabee was sourced from Heinen, a family-run tannery located in Germany.
Heinen’s manufacturing process is centered around energy-efficient production combined with support of the Kikonda Forest Project, which plants trees in Uganda to combat forest depletion.
The shoe is also made with a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified natural rubber crepe sole that is sourced from the sap of the rubber tree, making it a natural, renewable resource. The FSC labeling certifies the rubber has been harvested to benefit communities, wildlife, and the environment.
Finally, the shoes are packaged in a 90-percent recycled paper box printed with water-based inks.
Priced at $180, Clarks Originals and Sporty and Rich’s trio of Wallabee shoes will launch on February 15, 2021 on sportyandtich.com and clarks.com. The collaboration will also available on February 22nd at Selfridges, Footasylum, SSENSE, Holt Renfrew and Sole Brother among other retailers.