Raf Simons Has Been Hard at Work Putting Rings on Dr. Martens

The former Calvin Klein designer unveils his latest tie-up with the English footwear company: a reinterpretation of the Dr. Martens 1460 boot.

Calvin Klein Collection - Runway - September 2018 - New York Fashion Week

Raf Simons has never shied away from collaborations, even before his days at Dior and Calvin Klein, where he enjoyed a two-year stint as chief creative officer. Over the years, the designer has teamed with Eastpak, Adidas, Fred Perry, the outerwear brand Templa, and Dr. Martens. Now, Simons is unveiling his third and latest tie-up with the English footwear company: a reinterpretation of the Dr. Martens 1460 boot, which celebrates its 60th birthday this year.

Perhaps “reinterpretation” is a stretch—Simons sprinkled some thick silver hoops into the mix, and put his logo on the side of the boot. But the Belgian designer’s previous collaboration with Dr. Martens was just as pared-down—it featured the 1461 brogue-style lace-up shoe with an exposed steel toe. Other than that detail, and the logo on the side, not much else changed. But the unadorned gesture is something Simons is occasionally known for—and the rings hold more meaning to the designer himself, who said he was inspired by the streets of London when putting his touch on the boot.

“The rings are a referral to the rings we used in our spring 2019 collection—that collection was very much inspired by the London club scene, more specifically at that time when punk transformed into New Wave,” Simons said. “I was so inspired by how people dressed when I went out back then. It was so creative; it was also the time of the New Romantics. People would transform their look by cutting up their clothes, adding safety pins, rings, charms, etc.”

He also sees the boots as an opportunity for self-expression.

“This interpretation of the 1460 boot stimulates you to make it your own,” Simons said. “You can personalize it by adding charms, or keep it clean as it is.”