• Words
  • Creative Direction Rani Patel
  • Photography Ashley Verse

Coinciding with Women’s History Month, Clarks Originals' ‘In Her Shoes’ campaign begins by spotlighting five Black female creatives.

British shoe brand Clarks Originals has launched a collaboration with Black owned non-gendered apparel and accessories brand, FANGIRL, to launch a new platform #InHerShoes to mark Women’s History Month and centre diverse stories.

 

Directed by Rani Patel Williams, creative entrepreneur and founder of FANGIRL, the series spotlights Black British female creatives who give insight to what it’s like to be a Black woman in today’s society and how they aim to push culture forward. All the while, the women are styled in a bespoke, limited edition Clarks Originals x FANGIRL Wallabees and T-shirts.

The collection of short films and stills offers a window into what it means to be a Black British woman in the creative sector, with each of the five women opening up about how their history influences their creative work. Against a backdrop of dreamlike visuals, the women invite viewers to walk in their shoes for a moment, donning their personalised FANGIRL Wallabees as they take us on a journey through their history, homes, workspaces and local communities.

 

Throughout the films we also see a black pathway which visually frames the women, and conceptually acts as the thread between their histories – the paths of all Black women who have come before them – and the future legacies of those who will follow in their footsteps. As a motif, this visible Blackness is a direct and conscious challenge to a society which renders Black female culture creators largely invisible.

In addition to the limited-edition Clarks Originals x FANGIRL Wallabees, the women featured in the films each wear a Clarks Originals x FANGIRL t-shirt featuring a statement on their backs which is a truth about being a Black woman today – “Black Women Are The Source and The Sauce”, “Why Are Black Women Told They Are Too Loud But Never Heard”, “Why Are Black Looks Accepted on Everyone But Black Bodies”, “There Is No Progress Without Black Women” and “My Melanin Is My Biggest Flex”.

Tara McRae, CMO Clarks Shoes & Clarks Originals said: “It has been a joy to be able to provide our platform Clarks Originals in order to shed some much-needed light on the vital women who are shaping the creative industry in the UK. Partnering with FANGIRL aligns both our brands together under the same banner of encouraging self-expression of individuals without limits, especially from marginalised communities. Of course, there are so many women who remain behind the scenes but by championing these five women in their own individual fields will hopefully inspire more women to become the disrupters of industry and to act as a reminder that there is so much more work to be done to unite women of minority backgrounds. It is so important to keep pushing the culture forward by amplifying the women who are pioneering that conversation.”

Rani Patel Williams, founder and Creative Director, FANGIRL, adds: “I created FANGIRL at a time when I felt most invisible and the brand has always been about creating space for those who feel most marginalised. Sitting at the intersections of race and gender, those self-identifying Black women are one of the most marginalised and invisible groups in society, with their contributions often left undocumented and out of the history books. These issues have been brought more sharply into focus by the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent conversations about gender-based violence.”

Rani Patel Williams also states: “It has been a pleasure to work with a brand like Clarks Originals’ which is proud to celebrate and acknowledge how its heritage has been formed in dialogue with Black culture. In this campaign, we honour and document the contributions of five Black women pushing culture forward and, in doing so, celebrate the contributions of those who have gone before them and been forgotten.”

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