Nathan Clark, Creator of the Desert Boot, Dead at 94
ON JULY 07, 2011 AT 5:00 PM
The iconic desert boot as we know it today, worn by everyone from Steve McQueen to the dude on the subway next to you this morning, wouldn't have existed without the passion of Nathan Clark, who died on June 23rd at the age of 94. Clark was the great-grandson of the founder of Clarks and he developed an admirable zeal for the lace-up ankle boots worn by desert fighters in Burma during World War II. The suede material and crepe sole of the boot wasn't an immediate hit with the Brits upon Clark's return from fighting, but the Americans loved them; most notably the, ahem, lack of maintenance and comfort factor.
Clark must have passed a satisfied soul, indeed, as the versatility of desert boots have been re-embraced in the recent heritage-happy menswear scene; being interpreted by the likes of J.Crew, Dior, Opening Ceremony and TOPMAN. So, next time you lace up those McAllisters (you know you have a pair) have a momentary vigil for Nathan Clark: a true footwear legend. The GQ Eye salutes you.