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Dr. Martens Gets Real

Dr. Martens are far more than just boots. They are iconic and a symbol of freedom of expression for youth, and in a brand image makeover for the 2014 Spring collection, Dr. Martens gets real-people, not models to demonstrate the diversity of brand devotees.

Dr. Martens Image Makeover

classic black boots

Photo credit By Vugluskr via Wikimedia Commons

The campaign is themed “Stand for Something” and features 19 non-models or real people, to show how Dr. Martens don’t just symbolize the anti-authority punk fashion statement. The nineteen non-models range in age from just 9 years old to almost 50 all of which “Stand for Something” so they don’t “fall for anything”.


Utilizing Dr. Martens social media profiles the new ad campaign is all inclusive and encourages every fan of the symbolic tough shoe to submit a photo, brief biography and a statement of what they stand for.

The group includes a self proclaimed 23 year old “hippie at heart” who does philanthropic work with artists in South America wears Dr. Martens and stands for “health and happiness“, and a 29 year old London based a make-up artist who praises her personal style as “classic beauty”. Clearly absent are the rebellious hard-core defiant punk imagery that most people associate with the boots style.

Dr.  Martens started out as a redesigned military boot and first hit shoe stores  on April 1st 1960 in the UK and has a turbulent but determined presence among fading fads and fleeting styles.

red boots

Dr. Martens
Photo By Vugluskr via Wikimedia Commons

The Cobbs Lane Factory in Wollaston England makes about 50 pairs of Dr. Martens per day. Last October the private firm, Permira bought the Dr. Marten brand in a large acquisition for nearly $520 million USD (or £300m).

The air-cushioned sole boot made with melted construction and symbolic yellow stitching has received a few alternate nick names since hitting the market, besides Dr. Martens, they are also playfully called Docs, DMs, Doc Martens, and even Doctor Martens.

The Dr. Martens company website explains the inspiration and effect of the brand since 1960 re-iterating that style may change, but individuality doesn’t.

 “When the first pair of Dr. Martens boots rolled off the production line on that day, it was on to a British high street where youth tribes were still a rarity. Not for long: the next four decades saw the time-bomb of subculture explode across the globe as a series of tribes sprang up from their respective undergrounds, each new incarnation heralding a burning desire to be different to what had gone before.”



Feature image By User Pixel23 on en.wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons, classic Dr. Marten yellow stitching.

About Tonya O'Dell