Clarks desert boots made in England

Worn since 2008


Could you please introduce yourself?

I’m 38 years old, the father of three children, and a journalist. I mainly work for newspapers (Society, L’Etiquette, M Le Monde, Holiday…), and sometimes for TV (Quotidien). Clothes – the way we dress, and why – fascinate me. I regularly work on that topic.

Could you introduce us to this piece? Where does it come from? How old is it?

These are Clarks desert boots, in chalk. They are made in England. I bought them exactly ten years ago, in December 2008. I remember it very well because at that time I was a reporter at a newspaper called France Football and I presented the "Ballon d'Or" award to Cristiano Ronaldo, in Manchester. I bought them during that report at Oi Polloi, the mythical shop of the city on Tib Street.

Did it belong to someone else before you? Did you buy it for yourself? Why did you buy it? How did you find it?

I'd already owned desert boots in the past in another color. I’d also owned Wallabees, of course. And even a style named Khan, which is a kind of low desert boot. To me, it was quite logical to get them. I was completing my collection, and they were made in England. At that time, in 2008, the production of Clark's shoes had already been outsourced to Asia but this pair came from an old stock…

Do you remember the first time you wore it?

On the very same day, in Manchester. It wasn’t raining (reminder : always be careful of rain when wearing suede calfskin and crepe soles), but I remember it was cold. I’d also bought a quilted jacket, a Barbour, at Oi Polloi. Without my beard, I think I looked like Fillon (translator’s note : François Fillon was the conservative candidate at the 2017 French presidential election), when I think about it. But less right-wing, anyway.

What are your memories of this piece?

Of course, it reminds me of this trip to Manchester. It also reminds me that a few years ago, I wanted to show off and climb into a boat, somewhere in the Perche, and I ended up with my feet in the water, while I was wearing this pair. A dark story indeed.

Are there any signs of wear and tear?

Inevitably. The sole is still good (in the end, when I think about it, I haven’t worn them that often…), but the top is a little battered. At the beginning, I rubbed them with a brass brush to clean them, but I ended up understanding that they would be more beautiful looking just a little bit battered.

Have you already repaired this piece?

No, I never repaired it.

When do you usually wear it? Do you remember when you last wore it?

I usually wear them when I don’t really want to make an effort. Last time, I wore them with a pair of chinos and white socks. All day long, I asked myself whether it was a good idea to combine the chalk from the desert boots with the beige from the chinos, as they are two very similar colors, but not identical. In hindsight, it probably wasn't a great idea.