Top image courtesy of Mark Richards.
Dr. Martens last week launched their new store on Oxford Street, simultaneously releasing a revised edition of Dr. Martens: A History of Rebellious Self-Expression. The book is drenched in anecdotal jewels from DM wearers from The Clash to Tonight Alive, accompanied with never-seen-before photographs from the 60s to present day.
The legendary boot was released in the UK on 1st April, 1960. What’s special is how its original utilitarian purpose for the workplace was surpassed, unhinged, and hence propelled forward in line with the generation of free-thinking rebelliousness and angst that shaped 70s youth culture. Pete Townshend of The Who was one of the first figures to make Docs famous on stage, The Who guitarist adopting them for comfort (his on-stage bouncing is pretty much unparalleled) – and as a reminder of his childhood’s working-class surroundings.
The boot has traversed decades since, adopted by Mods and glam rockers, psychobillies and skinheads of the 70s and 80s and as a staple for alternative, rock, punk and, most recently, hip hop scenes – on both a local and global scale.
Whether it’s Paul Simonon, Joe Strummer, A$AP Rocky or your local post dude, Dr. Martens have become the ubiquitous vessel for full throttle attitude, an English-hailing ‘fuck you’ to the norm. The book’s only a tenner – go treat yourself to a copy and pay tribute to a youth icon that ain’t dying for shit.
Dr. Martens, 386 Oxford Street, London, W1C 1JS. ‘Dr. Martens: A History of Rebellious Self-Expression’ is out now, available online at the Dr. Martens website.