There's the Chuck Taylor Converse sneaker and then there's the Dr. Martens boot; two shoes so iconic and classic that no one has ever made a fashion faux pas by wearing them. Their symbolic value to different music and fashion subcultures since the early days of punk and rock 'n' roll has given them 'national treasure' status. And tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martens, the Air Wair boot initially famous for its air-cushioned sole. Its most iconic style, the 1460 boot, was named after the first day of production; the 1st of April 1960.
The boot was designed by German inventor Klaus Maertens, who wanted a supportive work boot, hence its popularity with post men, police officers and general work men. It came to be manufactured by the British family firm R Griggs and Co, who applied the characteristic yellow stitching. A modern day classic was born. This is celebrated by Dr. Martens with a short documentary on the development and cultural history of the boot. You wear it, now find out what people and events pre-date your affection of the boot.
To really hammer home the point, Dr. Martens have also asked 10 different film directors to make videos of contemporary bands and musicians covering a classic song of their choice. The celebrations carry on throughout the year, but first out (on DM's website and YouTube) are The Noisettes, The Duke Spirits and Dam Funk. The Noisettes' film can be seen exclusively on Dazed Digital first. The trio chose to do a stomping rendition of Buzzcocks' Ever Fallen In Love. The interesting documentary features commentary Rankin, Mick Rock, Kate Lanphear and Don Letts among others. From the 1st of April you can go to the Dr. Martens website and see clips of the other bands recording covers in the studio. Here's to another 50 years, Doc!