Constellation:- Teenage Kicks

During this lecture we explored the cultural approaches to Dr Martens boots, which is a very popular and fashionable brand of leather boots. Here we explored the cultural biography of the product and how history has played a part in shaping the image of the brand itself. To start off, Dr Martens were purely for workforces such as builders. But now we can see how stereotypical groups took this type of boot and made it part of their image.

During the early days Dr Marten boots were extremely unfashionable as they were not designed to be so, on the other hand they were very functional. As for this, groups such as Skinheads, Goths and Mobs began using these boots as a sign of anti-fashion and a way of rebelling to the norm. The downfall from this is that these were the types of groups that were notoriously known for being violent. Dr Marten were not very happy with this as they did not want to be associated with these groups or the violence they displayed on a regular basis. It wasn’t long before people actually linked these boots as a connotation of violence and became fearful of anyone wearing them unless they were in a gang themselves.

Although Dr Marten boots were not seen as a trend setter, all types of gangs began self-fashioning them, personalising them to make them even more original and as a result worked highly well. But funnily enough, after groups such as rockers began using them as part of their image, they started coming into fashion. They started to become part of the rock image, that connotation of aggression and violence suited these types of music and therefore started becoming more of a fashion statement.

Dr Martens soon realised that actually their brand of boots had a huge amount of history, as with people personalising them, rising into popularity, they then began play on it, which you can see still going on today which many different designs such as flowers and all sorts of colours.