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Levi’s Gives Classic Clarks a Madchester Makeover

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The Levi’s Vintage Clothing sub-label is all about premium takes on the denim giant’s classic items, incorporating ample musical influences into an expansive ready-to-wear offering, occasionally accompanied by some covetable collaborations or one-offs. That holds true for its Spring/Summer 2021 collection, dubbed “Loose Fix” to indicate the ’80s Madchester scene inspiration, which sees Levi’s linking with Clarks for the duo’s debut partnership, packed with psychedelic nods.

The Madchester sound was all about jangly guitars and trippy ’60s throwbacks updated with a then-contemporary twist, like the bouncy bass of acid house. Short-lived sub-genres like “baggy” refined and reshaped the palette, simultaneously reflecting the preferred clothing of the era: big ‘ol jeans and corduroys worn with bombers, anoraks, and relaxed shirts. Sporty trainers (sneakers for the Yanks) or some crispy Clarks were usually underfoot, the latter obviously informing this collaborative drop.

Three Clarks have been reworked to complement the new LVC line: a pair of Desert Boots, Weavers, and Wallabees. The latter is especially out-there, with full-grain reverse suede executed in flashy pink-hued suede and nubuck. No less kooky is the bold yellow Weaver, sturdy blanket stitching grounding the bright suede. Meanwhile, the Desert Boot is the best of both worlds, with textured and shaved suede realized in a pastel-y blue shade. All the styles come with poppy laces that match or contrast with the statement uppers, comfy crepe soles for all-day show-going, and Levi’s tabs.

All of the special shoes launch on Levi’s website and Clarks stores, plus select stockists, on June 11.

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