World Footwear


Orla Kiely and Clarks joined forces to produce new shoe line

Jun 2, 2014 United States
Orla Kiely and Clarks joined forces to produce new shoe line
The fashion designer has used her retro-style prints on everything from couch cushions to ready-to-wear. Now she has teamed up with British brand Clarks to make her debut with footwear
Orla Kiely is a renowned fashion designer born in Ireland and based in London. After beginning her career designing hats, Kiely has moved on to design work on handbags and a variety of other items, including varied house ware, stationary, clothing, and sunglasses. Orla studied at the Royal College of Art in London, and got an auspicious start when the famous and exclusive department store Harrods purchased her exit collection. Work with several companies followed, before the designer decided to set up her own business and brand.

Orla counts with other collaborations in her career, such as the one with Japanese based clothing manufacturer and retail chain Uniqlo, and with US based retail chain Target, but this is the first time she joins forces with an historic footwear brand. According to interviews given by Orla recently, Clarks is a familiar brand to those who grew up in the UK, like herself, and the heritage of the company is deep inside people’s heads and hearts. The exclusive line designed by Orla fuses her own stylized motifs with a modern take on designs from the 60s and 70s. There are 14 styles available and the prices range from 129.95 euros to 179.95 euros.

Clarks was founded when Cyrus Clark started tanning sheepskin rugs. He was joined by his brother James who introduced sheepskin slippers in 1830. Production soon flourished, helped by the purchase in 1856 of recently invented Singer sewing machines. Clarks expanded rapidly during the early 20th century under the leadership of John, Roger and Alice Clark. They introduced new technologies and materials, taking full advantage of the economies of mass production, and responding to changing fashions and to the increasing demand of women’s shoes. The end of the Second World War saw great expansion for Clarks as they moved into world markets. The 50’s and 60’s were marked by the introduction of new products that became Clarks classics, and by the success of children’s’ shoes. In the following decade Clarks enjoyed significant growth in the U.K. with the establishment of a major retail chain, and global expansion accelerated, especially in the U.S. Today Clarks continues to be a privately owned business based in their birthplace in Somerset, United Kingdom. The business grew and today, despite its familiar nature, it is a global business, selling shoes in over 35 countries around the world. The company claims to be the now the no. 1 shoe retailer in the U.K. and the leading U.K. children's shoe brand, while offering a wide range of shoes for both men and women including styles for smart and casual designs, work shoes, sports shoes, waterproof shoes, boots, sandals and party shoes.

For more information about the Orla Kiely – Clarks footwear line please refer to website:

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