Clarks Originals launches FanGirl link-up and campaign
In a key development following the arrival of its new owners, Clarks has unveiled a new campaign for its Clarks Originals brand that includes content and a collab, all designed to celebrate black female creatives.
It has inked up with black-owned brand FanGirl and has launched a video content series that sees five women talking about their history, homes, work environments and communities, as it invites viewers to walk #InHerShoes.
Clarks Originals has had strong links with the black community and has been embraced by black musicians in decades gone by. Think General Smilie and Papa Michigan on the sleeve of Rub-A-Dub Style in 1979 or Vybz Kartel being one among a number of Jamaican artists to reference the brand in the 2010 song Clarks.
But while it has such links stretching back more than 60 years, the new campaign is its first focused purely on black women. It came about when FanGirl founder Rani Patel Williams approached the company after noticing the brand’s connection to the black community on social media and taking note of its history.
She told Campaign that the link-up “made sense from a partnership point of view when I think about the spaces that both brands are occupying”.
“FanGirl's focus is around self-expression, visibility and unity and I wanted to do something around driving visibility of black women for Women's History Month,” she added. “This concept really came from an insight being a black woman myself, but also Black Lives Matter highlighted how, within society, black women are the most disrespected. I've observed how much black women have contributed to culture in beauty, fashion, music and sound, and they're not being honoured and acknowledged.”
The content series sits on the brand’s social channels and the five featured creatives will be seen wearing a bespoke, limited-edition run of Clarks Originals x FanGirl Wallabees.
They include make-up artist and cosmetics entrepreneur Mata Mariella; menswear designer Priya Ahluwalia; singer-songwriter Raheaven; DJ and Girls Can’t DJ founder Jordss; and dancer, model and The Curve Catwalk founder Trina Nicole.
The shoe brand’s CMO Tara McRae told the magazine that “partnering with FanGirl aligns both our brands together under the same banner of encouraging self-expression of individuals without limits, especially from marginalised communities”.
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