Daniëlle Cathari Spills the Tea on Her New Clarks Collab
We caught up with the Dutch designer to find out more about her take on the classic Wallabee.
Daniëlle Cathari is known for her impeccable choice in collaborations, previously joining forces with the likes of adidas Originals and Woolrich and now, the Dutch designer is lending her hand to the silhouette of the season for her first-ever footwear collaboration.
Taking over the Clarks Wallabee, Cathari’s aim was simple. “I wanted to show [people] that you can literally wear them every day — a different pair for each day of the week,” she tells Hypebae. “I drew inspiration from the underwear you used to have with the days of the week on them, I found that to be a funny idea. In doing so, I played with the idea of synesthesia. The phenomenon where people associate a color with a particular day. It’s different for everyone, but somehow I find red fitting for Monday,” the designer adds.
Wearing pieces from her own wardrobe throughout the collection campaign, Cathari showcases the Wallabee’s versatility first-hand, pairing it with preppy skirts and knitwear alongside casual double denim iterations. “My style is all over the place. Sometimes I look like a twelve-year-old boy, while in other moments I’m more feminine and preppy. But most of the time it falls somewhere in between,” she tells us.
We caught up with Cathari to find out more about the inspiration behind the collaboration with Clarks Originals, what makes the design authentically Cathari and excitingly, her plans for the year ahead.
Scroll down to read the full interview.
You’re joining forces with Clarks Originals for a new collection. How did the partnership come about?
I remember I was just working in the office with my team, and I received a direct message from the Clarks Originals account. They wanted to talk to me about a possible collab. I believe that’s how it went. What was a normal working day turned out to be very exciting — I already knew exactly what I wanted the collection to be and look like!
What do you love about Clarks? How does the brand fit into your style?
I am drawn to nostalgic brands and products. Clarks has such a long cultural history, I love diving into archives and discovering all that the brand has done in the past.
It only makes sense to collaborate with Clarks Originals for our first footwear partnership. While the Wallabee is so nostalgic for me, I’ve also always been a regular Wallabee wearer until this day. It’s a shoe that fits very well with my own style and with the collections we make.
The collection centers around the classic Wallabee, which has become somewhat of a style icon in recent years. What do you think it is about this silhouette that makes it so popular? Why were you drawn to it?
I have always worn Clarks, and especially the Wallabee, a very iconic shoe. What I like about the design is that it’s not quite a sneaker, but also not a formal dress shoe — it’s right in between. The shoe is very versatile and wearable, which I really appreciate. I think that this is also what makes the shoe so popular.
Tell us a bit about the process behind curating the collection’s color palette.
Because it’s such a versatile shoe, I wanted to show that you can literally wear them every day — a different pair for each day of the week. I drew inspiration from the underwear you used to have with the days of the week on them, I found that to be a funny idea. In doing so, I played with the idea of synesthesia. The phenomenon where people associate a color with a particular day. It’s different for everyone, but somehow I find red fitting for Monday. Light green goes with Tuesday and purple is truly a color for Friday.
I didn’t only choose the colors based on the days, but also considered colors that resonate with me and the brand. All the colors are quite present, yet soft and wearable. Not overly loud, but still very colorful.
How would you style them? What’s your go-to outfit to wear with a Wallabee?
You can wear them in a casual, everyday manner, but also in a more formal way. It truly sits in between a sneaker and a dressing shoe. It’s not an entirely casual shoe, because you can also wear it as a slightly dressier shoe – it depends on what you pair it with.
In the campaign I’m wearing pieces from my own wardrobe. One look is an all over camo outfit, while another look is more feminine with a knitted set featuring a skirt and off-shoulder top. My style is all over the place. Sometimes I look like a twelve-year-old boy, while in other moments I’m more feminine and preppy. But most of the time it falls somewhere in between.
What elements of the design do you feel are truly Cathari?
My work is known for the deconstructed elements. For this collaboration it comes back in a more subtle way. We’ve utilized Clark’s iconic suede and played around with it by mixing different textures together — using both the front and the back of the material.
Finally, what other projects do you have up your sleeve this year?
At the end of September we are releasing our 5th collection with heritage brand Woolrich, which is super fun of course. And I am planning on moving to New York in the upcoming months, there are some new things happening there.
The Daniëlle Cathari x Clarks Originals collaboration is now available for purchase from the brand’s website.