When Cyrus and James Clark founded a small footwear business in the village of Street in Somerset in 1825 they couldn't have known they were laying the foundations of what's become a legendary label.
Still family-run after more than 190 years in the footwear trade, Clarks is the proudly British brand that's produced shoes for generation upon generation and is now once again a catwalk favourite.
That's because Clarks, with its signature green shoe boxes, produces enduring beyond-fashion footwear. A form follows function design philosophy has been part of the Clarks story since the beginning. This authenticity marks out Clarks as being very much a 21st century brand.
It speaks volumes of this extraordinary brand that the headquarters of what is now an international concern is located in the same village where the Clarks story began - and that employees own shares in the company along with the Clarks family.
The simplicity that worked in 1825 could not be more on trend in our high tech times. Just as vinyl has made such a meteoric return in the world of music, so Clarks footwear with its unique heritage and an unbeatable back catalogue is once again in the fashion spotlight.
Take Clarks Desert Boots, true classics from that catalogue and, dare we say it, essential for any discerning footwear wardrobe. Crafted from suede or leather, these boots, now available in a variety of colours, have been a Clarks staple for more than 65 years. They've often been copied, and never bettered. If you're buying desert boots, Clarks Desert Boots really are the only ones to have. Luxury brands charge twice the price - and, in our view, that can't buy the heritage that each pair of Clarks Desert Boots effortlessly contains.
You can say the same for Clarks Brogues. Once again, they're both simple and essential, perfectly crafted to be both comfortable and with enough style to walk you both to work and into an upscale restaurant after hours. We think that's the secret of Clarks. They're somehow classless, so that your Clarks Brogues say that the wearer isn't trying too hard, but is simply confident in who he is.
At home, Clarks Slippers do exactly what slippers should, cosset your feet after a long and hard day. Clarks have certainly not stood still, adding and updating every one of their designs, including Clarks slippers, without losing the very essence that makes a pair of Clarks shoes what they are.
Clarks Heels adds smartness to the label's simplicity with shoes that easily transcend fashion, without breaking the bank. Clarks Heels work whatever your individual style, and that is another key to the lasting appeal, now and for the future, of this uniquely British brand.
We'd say that if Clarks shoes were a car they'd be a classic Mini. Truly British, truly iconic, never out of style, always setting the pace - and ready for whatever life throws at them.