It would appear iconic British footwear brand Clarks Originals is smitten with Lila Ike.
The 25-year-old Reggae songstress was recently invited to Paris Fashion Week by Clarks, a stint which the Manchester native is very proud of. The artiste is yet to officially confirm whether or not she has a promotional deal with the brand. “Big respect to @clarksoriginals. Thanks for inviting me to Paris had mad fun and met some kool people,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “Big up @imddb and 2therealkano (sully from top boy),” she wrote on a recent Instagram post.
Last December the UK-based shoe manufacturer and retailer, singled out Lila for highlight, after she sported a lavender-colored Wallabees for a performance in France, during her Europe sound system tour. Four photos of Lila were posted on Clarks Originals IG page, which was captioned: “Lila in Lavender performing live in Paris #WallabeeWednesday.”
A few months earlier in July, they had also re-posted Jahvillani’s song ‘Clarks Pon Foot,’ dubbing it a summer anthem for Clarks and Jamaica.
Clarks has been an all-time favorite of Jamaican Reggae and Dancehall artistes and was glorified and immortalized in their songs dating to as far back as the 1970s.
One Love Books founder, Al Fingers, had even assembled a compilation of tracks dubbed Clarks in Jamaica, in celebration of Jamaican artistes’ love affair with the brand. The compilation had featured 21 songs from entertainers such as Supercat, Little John, Dillinger, Trinity, and Ranking Joe and was followed up by a book of the same title in 2012.
The popularity of Clarks in Jamaica has even attracted the attention of fashion magazines such as Vogue, which published an article in 2015 titled “How Jamaica fell for the Desert Boot: The Story of Reggae’s Love Affair with Clarks.”
The author of the Vogue article had noted that when Clarks introduced the Wallabee in 1967 and the Desert Trek which later came to be known as ‘Bankrobbers’ in Jamaica in 1971, “they practically flew off the shelves, straight onto the album covers of Reggae’s most influential singers and DJs, Rastas a and razor-trimmed lyrical gangsters alike.”
Vogue also noted that in the 1980s, the trend shifted from album cover accessories to song lyrics and even titles such as Little John’s Clarks Booty, and marked some of the genres all-time classics like Super Cats’ Trash and Ready” and Eek-a-Mouse’s ‘Wa do dem?’
Clarks made a huge resurgence amongst young people in Jamaica, following the release of Vybz Kartel’s Clarks song, which also featured Popcaan and Gaza Slim and which was featured on his Pon di Gaza album. The song hailed the virtues of Clarks for its versatility, durability, health benefits for the feet, and ability to withstand any types of weather and terrain.