Brand as story

A brand called Docs

1 November, 2017

I have worn Doc Martens shoes and boots for the past 33 years. I freaking love my Docs. (bottom row, middle pic = that’s my favourite boot). It’s one of my top 5 most loved brands. And this is why (apart from the fact that they are as tough and as comfortable as fuck, both at the same time):

The first thing I read own their website is:

Dr. Martens’ appeal to people who have their own individual style but share a united spirit – authentic characters who stand for something. People who possess a proud sense of self- expression. People who are different.

Like hello, was that written for me? And then Dr. Martens has an amazingly interesting and credible history. It started out life in 1901 as a £2 work-wear boot for Britain’s working classes. During the 1960s Dr. Martens became synonymous with the wave of change, new ideas, cultural upheaval, and eventually social revolution.

Pete Townshend of The Who became the first high profile individual to wear them (at a concert in 1967) as a symbol of his own working class pride and rebellious attitude. “I was sick of dressing up as a Christmas tree in flowing robes that got in the way of my guitar playing,” he said. “So I thought I’d move onto utility wear.” And soon a whole lot of young people followed him.

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During the 1970s Dr. Martens were picked up by early multi-cultural, ska-loving skinheads – who proudly championed British working class style. Dr. Martens had become a subcultural essential and a brand that kicked against the norm. Skinheads today still wear Docs, even in China.

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Today music sits at the heart of the brand — along with diversity, individuality, and self-expression — and a tagline that says, “A history of standing for something”. Check it out in this clip:

The bottom line is this: the boot (and the shoe) is made like no other boot on earth. AND I can wear the same brown boot to an outdoor concert, to deliver a keynote talk, to a client meeting, to a dinner party, to anything. Like I never have to think, “what shoe am I going to wear”, because it’s just not a thing. I’ve got me fuckin Docs man. 🙂

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