Documenting the story of Jamaica’s ‘champion shoes’ is DJ and designer Al Fingers.
Released by One Love Books in November 2012, ‘Clarks in Jamaica’ takes you on a journey of current and historic photographs, interviews, and previously unseen archival material, with a particular focus on the Jamaican musicians who have worn and sung about Clarks shoes over the years.
So how did we as a British heritage footwear in the quiet English village of Street, Somerset, become the “baddest” shoes in Jamaica?
On the creation of the book Al Fingers says: “Being from England, I have always been intrigued by the Jamaican fascination with Clarks shoes and the way they are referenced within Jamaican music. Whilst Vybz Kartel’s song ‘Clarks’ brought the phenomenon to many people’s attention in 2010, the relationship goes back way further, and in compiling this book I wanted to bring attention to that, highlighting the work of artists such as Dillinger and Little John who had sung about Clarks many years before.”
In the words of Jamaican producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee: “From ever since, Clarks is a number one shoe inna Jamaica. Not just now, I’m talking from the Fifties come right up… Clarks stand the test of time inna Jamaica. All the other shoes come and bow right down at Clarks’ Foot.”
Written and compiled by Al Fingers, and featuring new photographs by Mark Read, Clarks in Jamaica is available for purchase for £30 at Amazon, Waterstones and all good book stores, published by One Love Books.