Trends and Fashions

Clarks Tor shoes, Freda Beard, 1928

Freda Beard, 1928

Very little Clarks Point Of Sale material survives the pre-WWII era, although quantities do begin to survive from the late 1920s and 1930s. During this period, Point Of Sale typically focuses on the Tor and Wessex ranges of shoes, with an emphasis on quality and fit.

The limited availability of provision of Point Of Sale for WWII suggests that Point Of Sale was produced in reduced quantities during this period of paper shortages and reduced shoe-making capacity (shoe catalogues during this period were also reduced in length, colour and richness of illustrations). Instead, Point Of Sale emphasis was laid on shoe rationing coupons and using them as an investment into a pair of shoes which would last into the long-term. Innovative changes in the Point Of Sale designs ensured that different Point Of Sale images could be easily slotted into the supporting frames, helping to save paper.

Demachy's 'Skyline Lady', 1960s

Demachy’s ‘Skyline Lady’, 1960s

In the post-war period from 1948, the Skyline range of high quality dress shoes for women consistently generated considerable Point Of Sale attention. It was illustrated by the Frenchman Jacques Demachy (b 1898) who developed the character of the ‘Skyline lady’ throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The Skyline Point Of Sale sets were consistently grand, focusing on fashion-forward shoe styles as well as the available 4 width fittings. The Point Of Sale sets contained multiple pieces often including a large showcard or display miniature featuring lace, velvet, tulle or paper flowers to enhance its femininity. Numerous smaller display cards showed the typical ‘Skyline’ woman in different scenarios, with display and price tickets often bringing the total number of pieces in a set to 80. Demachy illustrated the Skyline range from 1948 onwards. Once display and price tickets are included, each set could contain up to 80 pieces. The Serenity range of wider-fitting shoes for women was also introduced in the late 1940s, alongside Clippers.

Three dimensional showcards and display miniatures were particularly popular in the 1950s and embodied the spirit of the story told in the advertising campaign. These were predominantly used for women’s shoe styles and ranges, but display miniatures were also popular for children’s shoes during this period. Women’s ranges for Clippers, County Club, Coronellas and Sailmakers were popular during this decade. Men’s Point Of Sale focused on the Chupplee sandals and the Flotilla ranges, expanding considerably in scope and diversity during the 1960s with the use of Hardy Amies as a style consultant in a range of popular formal men’s shoes.

Clarks Children Shoes, 1953

Clarks Children Shoes, 1953

Children’s Point Of Sale materials favoured elements of fun until the 1960s, featuring eye-catching and brightly coloured designs aimed at the unisex child consumer including dancing crocodiles and children at play. These designs ran alongside POS aimed at parents which focused on the expertise of the firm in foot hygiene, foot fitting and gauges. From the 1960s, the parental emphasis was developed further through Point Of Sale and public safety posters addressing the dangers of children wearing ill-fitting shoes through the use of tag lines such as ‘Only a mother cares as much Clarks’. Much emphasis was laid on First Shoes, Sandals and Back to School ranges. Gender specification became more prominent in the 1970s and 1980s through the introduction of ranges such as Commandos, Hardware, Magic Steps and GeoTech.

Clarks Polyveldt, 1977

Clarks Polyveldt, 1977

From the 1970s, more emphasis was given in the Point Of Sale to the technical aspects of the shoe ranges. In particular, the Nature Trek and Polyveldt men’s ranges were innovative in highlighting the comfort of the shoe on the foot and the introduction of flexible new sole types using new composite plastics. A collaboration with Levi’s from 1976 to 1986 across all three genders generated significant quantities of Point Of Sale , alongside the cross-gender range Movers in the early 1980s.

In the late 20th century, CICA sport’s shoes were introduced across the genders in the mid 1990s, alongside a popular and long-running unisex school range Bootleg and the Doodles range of canvas children’s shoes which all inspired large quantities of Point Of Sale.

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