Tremaine Emory’s Denim Tears has unveiled a new collaboration with British footwear brand Dr. Martens, the two teaming up on a collection that features the Penton loafer and 1460 boot.
This collection is inspired by artist Chris Ofili’s Union Black, a red, black, and green version of the British ‘Union Jack’ flag. Created in 2003, the Union Black recognizes and celebrates Black Britain by applying the Pan-African tricolor to the national emblem of Great Britain. Twenty years later, Emory builds off this concept and switches the colors to Jamaica’s black, yellow, and green as a tribute to the Windrush Generation.
The Windrush Generation refers to the West Indian people who migrated to the UK post World War II and is named after the HMT Empire Windrush, the cruise ship that carried over 1000 passengers (mostly Jamaicans) from the Jamaica to London in 1948. After WWII, the UK government allowed members of British-owned colonies the right to live and work in the country. West Indians that made the voyage across the Atlantic were met with racism and xenophobia, though without their contributions, British culture would not be what it is today.
Each piece of footwear from the Denim Tears x Dr. Martens collection prominently features the Jamaican version of the Union Jack on the vamp. Both the Penton loafer and 1460 boot are offered in black and red colorways for a total of four different styles.
This collaboration was first revealed as part of Somerset House’s “The Missing Thread” exhibition, an exploration of the shifting landscape of Black British culture and the unique contribution it has made to Britain’s rich design history. A pair of the black loafers are on display alongside a Denim Tears bespoke suit created in partnership with Casely-Hayford. The exhibit is on display through January 7th.
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