The suede classic gets the Champagne Papi treatment.
The humble Clarks Wallabee gets a tough rap sometimes. The suede moccasin-style shoe is, sadly, less well-known than the brand’s legendary desert boot, even though it’s got significant fashion and cultural pedigree. No less than the Wu-Tang Clan rocked ’em! Or, a little closer to home, Awake NY designer Angelo Baque waxed poetic about his Wallabees to GQ Style. He grew up seeing older, cooler West Indian kids wearing them in Queens. Now Baque wears them regularly, but recognizes they might not have caught on yet with the younger hypebeast set: “When I bring younger kids to my office, they trip out that I got Wallabees—in a good way…I don’t think their age group is really checking for Wallabees right now.”
Clarks is setting out to change that with its latest collaboration—and when you want the kids to follow, there’s no one better to turn to than Drake. The pair have taken on the Clarks desert boot before, but this is OVO’s first swing at the Wallabee. The new OVO edition hews closely to the iconic original, mostly standing out via subtle upgrades and OVO branding. The shoes come in four colorways: a soft grayish blue, beige, black, and a bright burnt orange. Because Champagne Papi is a man of refined tastes, they’re all crafted from Italian suede, and all get leather trim. The shoes’ uppers are stamped with tiny OVO logos, and a fringed tag featuring Drake’s golden owl is attached to the laces. Of course, the tag is removable—but if you’re shelling out for OVO Clarks, you won’t likely be inclined to remove it.
It’s fair to say that if Drake can’t get the kids into Wallabees, no one can. And, sure, that’s a long shot—but if it doesn’t work out, the old heads will have the comfortable, affordable, classic shoe to ourselves. We can dare to dream.