Since 1994, DC Shoes has been ingrained in alternative culture. The brand, co-founded by Ken Block and Damon Way, has put out striking footwear, apparel, and accessories over the years. Along the way, DC has connected with a number of innovative skateboarders, snowboarders, and artists around the globe. Now, its creative director — skater and streetwear great Lucien Clarke — has dropped a deeply personal collaboration with the brand called DC x DCV’87. The chunky shoe arrives in black and brown colorways with sleek suede blocks and serves as a tribute to his Jamaican roots.
Read more: Angel T33th, Hooks, and Nic Shaya show off DC Shoes streetstyle
To capture the campaign’s lookbook, Clarke traveled back to his birthplace with fellow DC and Palace skateboarder Kanin Garner and photographer Julian Klincewicz. It’s a unique touch that makes the project feel all the more intimate. It also remains clear that with this debut, Clarke has proved himself as an unboxable creative who’s always bursting with ideas. At the core of everything he does is a deep appreciation for originality and possibility. To get into it all, Clarke linked with lo-fi singer-producer Eyedress, an online-to-IRL friend made through their mutual love of skating. Here, Clarke explores how he was thrown into the world of DC and the eye-catching new drop, which is available now.
EYEDRESS: Your shoe looks sick. There’s a pic of you in the water with the shoe — it reminded me of El Topo. It’s [from] the guy who directed The Holy Mountain, but he makes this film with his son, and they go into the desert. It’s a surreal film. You would like it. Anyways, what have you been up to?
LUCIEN CLARKE: Just been here, man. I moved studios, [but] I hurt my knee, so I’ve just been chilling. I sprained it badly, so I’ve been doing this stuff more. I didn’t do anything to my ACL — it was just a bad sprain. They said chill out for a couple months. So, I’m lucky. How you doing?
EYEDRESS: Man, living in LA, being a dad. [Laughs.] Doing the music thing, you know? It’s been good, though. I signed with RCA. I left that label I was working with when we made that video. I still try to tap in and make beats, and I worked with Dean [Blunt]. I worked with him, and then I remember we brought you up, and I was like, “You know Lucien, right? Because he fucking loves you.” He was like, “Yeah, we go way back.” I was telling him how we connected.
I’ve been following your skating forever, and then I saw how your vision was coming out through your brand. I was really inspired by you. As someone who skates and does other things, that’s where I’m at. I skate, and I do music, but obviously, I don’t skate as seriously as you. It’s been a big part of my life. It shaped how I look at everything. You’ve done a lot. You’re a humble dude, though.
CLARKE: I’m trying to just keep it open as possible — not really having any structure or like, “Oh, you should do just this because that’s what you’re good at.”
EYEDRESS: You’re interesting. You do a lot of good stuff and seems like you hold your community down, too, like when I got to meet some of your friends. All positive things. But yeah, I’ve just been here. Trying to grind, make some new fire songs. I made some shit with Dean. I gotta sing on that soon.
CLARKE: Go into that, man.
EYEDRESS: I’m such a shy guy. You know how Razy [Faouri] is always with me, my photographer? Razy is like, “Yo Dean, can I get a couple pics?” And he’s like, “Nah, mate.” [Laughs.] He’s really elusive.
CLARKE: Definitely. I haven’t seen him in probably two or three years now. A time ago, he used to live at this flat and have parties and jams and had instruments everywhere. There was always a vibe in it, basically.
EYEDRESS: What’s your vision for all this stuff you’re working on?
CLARKE: Basically, ’cause this is the first thing I’ve done with DC, this is more personal. I feel like this was planned in a way. Whether it was conscious or not, all of it just made sense, really, out of all the other shoe brands and whatnot. This is what I got inspiration from, from way back. Josh Kalis was like, “You’ve always got a home here.” It’s a line of stuff that’s happening, and then it’s just into this now.
EYEDRESS: You flew out to Jamaica, right?
CLARKE: Yeah, just being able to play with the OG — that shoe, the sole, and then right into the “it’s not a fucking game” on the heel. Then we’ve got a zine coming out. So, it’s gonna come in a shoebox, and it’ll have a zine, and it’ll have one of the hats.
EYEDRESS: How’d you get in touch with DC?
CLARKE: It was originally Michael Minter. He’s the top guy that does all the decision-making and shit. That was ages ago. We were speaking a little bit then, and then it was like, “Well, I’m doing this.” Then obviously with Virgil [Abloh] passing, Kalis reached out and was like, “Sorry for your loss. You’ve always got a home here.” Then it just developed from that, basically. So Kalis really put it on the map.
EYEDRESS: You always got ideas, though. Did the DCV thing click in your head right away when that happened?
CLARKE: Yeah, from a time ago. That’s what I mean about it sort of being planned because obviously Louie was never meant to last. The shoe that we made was influenced by old DC shoes that I used to skate [with].
EYEDRESS: I used to have DCs, and they just would never rip. I remember asking my mom, “Can I get some new shoes?” She’s like, “Nah, those are still good.” There were no holes. They got pretty crazy material, for sure.
CLARKE: It’s just crazy how from that conversation to this now being the first rollout of the other shit I’m doing. Let me show you the pro one.
EYEDRESS: This is some exclusive. It’s the evolution of the Louie shoe a little.
CLARKE: Yeah, and that’s the next one.
EYEDRESS: It looks like its brother. That one’s sick. Is that glow-in-the-dark or yellow?
CLARKE: It’s fluorescent, like green or yellow.
EYEDRESS: When your knee heals up, you better get a clip in that. I like both. It’s good you got a bright one and then some low-key ones.
CLARKE: All gray.
EYEDRESS: This could go with some sweats.
CLARKE: Then also all-white ones, like Air type, and then there’s fluorescent orange and fluorescent pink.
EYEDRESS: That’s crazy. You could wear all black and then just have that on. When you get the picking, it’s gonna be super reflective, right?
CLARKE: Yeah, that will be the second one that comes out, and I’m working on some other shit where it’s inside the air bubble. There’s two bits, the back and the front. Then it’ll have lights in it, in the air. You’ll be able to skate in it, but it’d be more like trainers. There’ll be lights in it, and you can turn it on and off. So when people see you, you can see your little two-step.
EYEDRESS: Can you please bring that shit back? The only people doing that are kids. You gotta keep that youthful spirit intact. People are back out. You see that shit out, you’d be like, “Let me take a pic.” It’s fire.
CLARKE: This is giving me full control over it, which is great.
EYEDRESS: They gotta trust you. You got the eye for it.
CLARKE: I’m hype. It’s good it’s starting to happen.