Last week iconic British boot brand Dr. Martens marked the launch of its Fall ’14 collection with a three-floor takeover of The Delancey in New York City’s Lower East Side. Aptly titled the Spirit of ’69, the collection harks back to the original tribe that wore and believed in the culture of the brand and brings together such collaborators as Trojan Records, Alpha Jackets, Brutus Shirts and Edwin Jeans. We spoke to Sara LaHaie, U.S. brand marketing and PR manager for Dr. Martens, about the collection and the brand’s ongoing #StandforSomething campaign.
Footwear Plus: How did you choose these collaborators for the Spirit of ’69 collection?
Sara LaHaie: The Spirit of ’69 collection is a modern interpretation of a look and attitude that was started back in 1969 in England by first-generation skinheads. We worked with brands that were involved or influenced by this very British subculture.
FP: How does this collection echo back to the culture of Dr. Martens in 1969?
SL: The collection celebrates this hugely important tribe from the late 1960s and its meticulous attention to detail as well as the relationship it had with ska, rocksteady and reggae that still shapes youth culture in terms of music, style and attitude to this day. The collection today is about style and detail, specific materials and practical durability. The Spirit of ’69 campaign features two actual modern day skinheads, Michael and Anita, and was shot by renowned photographer Gavin Watson. In addition to the photography, Mike Skinner [of The Streets] created the campaign film that can be seen on drmartens.com.
FP: #StandforSomething has such a powerful message. How does it enhance the brand? What does Dr. Martens itself stand for?
SH: Dr. Martens stands for individuality and the right to self-expression. Throughout our history the brand has been adopted by many rebellious characters, subcultures and tribes. It is these individuals who wear our boots and shoes that bring the brand to life.