On Thursday, Dr. Martens will celebrate their 50th anniversary. Five decades in, the boots have managed to outlast trends and fads and have been worn by everyone from Kurt Cobain and Agyness Deyn, to the Dalai Lama and Pope John Paul II.
The original shoe was created in 1945, when a German doctor, Klaus Maertens, designed an air-cushioned sole to help him recover after a skiing accident. Fast forward to 1959; Maertens and his partner, Dr. Funck, join with an English manufacturer, Bill Griggs, who adds the eight-eyelet leather upper and yellow stitching. On April 1, 1960, the Dr. Martens boot, as we know it, is born.
By 1975, the Dr. Martens boot was the go-to footwear for struggling musicians, rock stars, skinheads, punks and mods alike. In 1992, Marc Jacobs styled models with Dr. Martens in his infamous grunge collection for Perry Ellis. Since the start, over 100 million pairs of Dr. Martens have been sold and there are now over 250 different models.
History lesson aside, Dr. Martens has always had a rich association with fashion, culture and music. To mark their 50th anniversary, the company asked ten modern bands to record cover versions of classic tracks.
The first three tracks? Ever Fallen In Love by The Noisettes, Dirty Old Town by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and I Wanna Be Adored by The Raveonettes. The music videos for each track, which were shot by filmmakers and fashion photographers, including Rankin, will include commentary from Kate Lanphear and others.
These three tracks (and videos) will be available for download exclusively from the Dr. Martens website on Thursday, with the remaining seven released throughout 2010. Start celebrating!