COGGLES SPRING / SUMMER 13
Born out of an unlikely marriage between a German inventor and an English family from Northamptonshire, Dr Martens – at first a working class symbol and then one of revolution – is without doubt one of the world’s most iconic brands.
Meeting through an advert in the classified pages of a magazine, Dr Klaus Maertens, with his shoe sole made of air, and the Griggs family, with their long history of quality footwear production, put their skills together and created a boot that at once defined comfort, was practical, hard wearing and had all the hallmarks of a design classic.
Embraced first of all by the working classes, a quiet revolution was already underway… Skinheads, fanatical about their fashion became the first subculture to adopt the boot in the early 1960s, with punks, rebelling against everything and taking just Dr Martens with them, joining shortly after. Before long, almost every other subculture – mods, glam, ska, Goths, grunge, psychobillies, nu-metal, straight-edge, Britpop and more – adopted Dr Martens as their symbol of empowerment, individuality and freedom; not only does this speak of Dr Martens’ incredibly strong identity – achieved without a single penny spent on marketing – but also the cultural significance of a brand that shouldn’t really be thought of as a brand at all…
And while the world may have changed beyond recognition since Dr Marten’s early days, some things remain the same: Dr Martens are still a design classic, they still stand for quality and they still represent empowerment, individuality and freedom to countless people across the world.
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