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Dr Martens reboots skinheads with Mike Skinner

1969 for most Brits probably means hippies, dope, the imminent demise of The Beatles and Carnaby Street.

But there was a rather more robust working class culture too and Dr Martens, makers of big boots that go in and out of fashion, has delved into this rumbustious history with a new campaign by London agency ODD to launch its ‘Spirit of 69’ boots and clothes collection – hymning skinheads, of all things.

And who better to tell the tale than white rapper/hip hopper Mike Skinner of The Streets fame.

Airwair International Ltd – Dr Martens global marketing director Simon Jobson says: “The Spirit of ‘69 collection and the communications around it captures the essence of an incredibly enduring subculture, the skinhead. The campaign and the partnership with Mike Skinner enabled us to bring this story to life in a contemporary way demonstrating how this movement has continued to influence music and fashion right up to the modern day.”

Quite so – although Simon is probably too young to have actually met a skinhead of this vintage.

But it’s a fascinating trip down Memory Lane, and quite brave too, which succeeds in making Dr Martens contemporary again.

Did you know, by the way, that Dr Martens, which arrived in the UK in 1960, were a version of a German boot made from old rubber found on blitzed Luftwaffe airfields? Not sure whether that would have appealed to skinheads, who were fond of the Union Jack, or not.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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