DM’s have teamed up with renowned men’s stylist Tom Stubbs – who shows us his take on our new Heritage Distortion collection. Initially training in women’s wear design, he switched to men’s after spending time in the fashion magazine industry. And he’s never looked back. Working with high-profile clients from across the globe, Tom’s got a passion for showing men how to dress and making menswear more accessible.
Inspired by designs pulled from our archive, our Heritage Distortion collection is a high-volume tribute to the core marking and iconic features that have become symbols of self-expression and nonconformist attitude.
Read on to hear about how Tom styles them.
When were you first introduced to Dr. Martens?
Reckon my pal Flo’s sister who was older, hung with Skins and some other punk characters around 1978/1979. We wanted to emulate rude boys street/savvy of that era. Even with their subverted, scruffy takes on school uniforms, DMs looked wicked, although technically not allowed. My ‘mood boards’ of the time were any The Specials cover artwork or videos. Also, The Beat and cover of My Girl by Madness 7-inch single, notably the Chrissy Boys/ Fred Perry look. Older kids down Keynsham Park and the leisure centre also looking good in Martens.
What does Dr. Martens mean to you and how has that evolved throughout the years?
An authentic brand (mis)appropriated by genuine youth subcultures. They are dynamic, distinct, bold, and intrinsically have their own nuanced codes of how to wear them. Later, I wore greasy Ghillie Dr. Martens shoes, without the classic yellow top stitch this time, which was a more subtle, toned down style. I wore them in a manner of art school trendy’s that I was looking up to in about 1985 – 1986 when they were at art college and I was at school. Worn with baggy faded ripped Levi’s 501s, suede bomber or black leather biker jacket. It was in manner of hard times look with a bit of Buffalo thrown in via layering, though I wasn’t really aware of that. Also wore these with Hamnett black brace pant pegs about 1985-1986 and I went to Mud Club for the first time wearing these in 1987.
How were you inspired by the Heritage Distortion collection to create the chosen looks?
By looking back to all the original sub-cultures just mentioned and interpreting them via a modern style aesthetic prism.
Talk us through your key inspirations behind the looks for Brendan?
The silk slouch Rude Boy is a modern interpretation of the tonic suits skins and rude boys wore, but paired down, simple sporty and dynamic. Although tailoring is slouchy and super relaxed, vest, boots, etc. That khaki green is so impactful, again, done in silk, which makes it very different and a good contrast to super robust boots. A big rugged check shirt, more buffalo than rude boy also with a traditional dred look with the hat. Monochrome suede head – a simple paired down tailored coat-based look through the skin/head rude boy prism. Modern & clean but with the same dynamic flow and balance.
Talk us through your key inspirations behind the looks for Jack?
Buffalo inspired, think layered vintage US classics and collegiate stuff belted, gathered and worn buffalo with hard-times take on jeans in a rolled big belt look. With the jeans, I went high and brought in, to change the silhouette, and rolled to show DM shoes- but not like a bloody hipster -different – I hope! Almost a tribute Buffalo Christos Tolera (80s style icon) look with Chicano fastening at top. With the double beige ‘set’, this makes for an impactful casual suit look. Silhouette is important here too, loose but gathered in again. Hamnet peg shape pants, they’re very 80s indeed and set off shoes well. The suede bomber was a vintage look I did in the mid-80s and loved so much with my Greasy Ghillie DMs. Then the leather trench, it’s a massive cool statement right now – leather tailoring and leather tailored outwear is the big story for me, and a leather trench also has British subcultural histories, certain Punks adopted them in fetishist way – smooth terrace hooligans wore them, also Sting in Quadrophenia. The current leather tailoring rival allowed us to work a trad Skinhead boots and braces moon stop flex, the button down shirt, braces, Levi’s turned up, it’s classic late-60s, early-70s skin.
How has Dr. Martens played a role in your styles throughout the years?
DM’s boots were essential in a wannabe skin head story around 1980-1982. Into the very early 80s, 81, 82 they were associated with the rude boy skinhead. Into 85-87 the trend was art school, mud club, and that hard-times story aspiration.
Why do you think Dr. Martens is a timeless brand?
Because they are one of those design codes that’s been adapted and factored into a world pre-self conscious design and PR. They make up part of history and certain ‘iconic’ looks that can’t really be bettered or competed with. Originally taken for values they didn’t intend and used cleverly by subcultures. It’s a unique look, a dynamic look, appropriated by subcultures.
What style advice would you give to a new wearer trying out their first pair of Dr. Martens?
Wear them in properly!
What influences your work? Do you find inspiration in any unexpected places?
CULTURE. MUSIC, FILM, CULTURE, REAL PEOPLE
What are your favourite styles of Dr. Martens?