countercultures reinvented | darren mckoy for dr. martens

When you think of underground cultures, music, and the spirit of rebellion, Dr. Martens inevitably springs to mind. With a heritage that is rife with iconic imagery, and has long been associated with emerging cultural movements and artists, Dr. Martens continues to reinvent classic codes, always with an innovative touch. Named creative director at the helm of the history-rich house in March 2022, Darren McKoy has brought his own touch to the mix, with a unique take on the shoes that shaped recent cultural history. Between seasonal collaborations that provide a unique symbiotic design process – with Marc Jacobs or Rick Owens stepping up to design capsules, as well as younger designers – and the continuous reinvention of classics, Dr. Martens continues to uphold a rhythm of constant reinvention.

Speaking with Schön! about his vision for Dr. Martens, Darren McKoy reveals his insights on countercultures, the new 14XX and connecting communities globally.

What role does heritage have for Dr. Martens?

At Dr. Martens, heritage isn’t just a nod to the past; it is the beating heart of the brand. It starts with our roots in workwear and continues through the rebellious spirit of those who have worn our boots through the decades of counterculture. Our heritage inspires us to craft footwear that not only withstands the test of time but also continues to symbolise individuality and self-expression with every step forward.

The 1460, 1461 et 2976 models have been reinvented. How did the idea for the 14XX come to you?

The 14XX has been in the works for some time now. As a brand, we have been going against the grain since our inception over six decades ago. Born from a combination of innovation and restless desire to put durability and quality at the forefront of boot manufacture. The 14XX amplifies this determination to create progressive, experimental design pushing boundaries of our DNA.

The silhouette is new and innovative. How is this a new chapter in the history of the designs for Dr. Martens?

An incubator for forward-thinking design, the 14XX will mark the next chapter of design and determination from our brand; seeking to be disruptive and push boundaries, opening a door to the next generation of wearers whilst being conscious to not exclude our very supporters who helped define us.

Underground cultures have always been a fundamental part of Dr. Martens. How do you feel underground spheres have evolved over recent years?

As a brand, we are built on and by subcultures. The communities and individuals united through rebellious self-expression, paving their own way for the next generation. From the two-tone and punk movement of the ‘80s to the terrace culture of the ‘00s, subcultures continue to evolve and redefine sounds and style, creating new pockets of communities as they grow.

This has always been the case, but propelled in recent years through the digital era. We’re more connected globally now, more than ever, and it’s so exciting to see how communities come together globally and inspire each other, support each other and continue to define new eras. And it’s exciting to see Dr. Martens at the forefront, resonating with so many.

What comes next for Dr Martens?

It’s an exciting time for Dr. Martens and our global community are a major role in this. More community, more creativity and collaboration to help foster the next generation.

Discover the 14XX by Dr. Martens here

interview. Patrick Clark


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