Dr. Martens: Exploring Leeds’ Own C.F. Stead Tannery

To welcome Dr. Martens and their first delivery of 1461 Stead Suede Shoes to HIP, we made the short journey to Leeds’ own C.F Stead Tannery to capture the original environment in which each shoe’s journey begins with one of the most respected tanners of suede leather in the world. Founded by German doctor Klaus […]

Hip Dr Martens 1461 shoot at the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds

To welcome Dr. Martens and their first delivery of 1461 Stead Suede Shoes to HIP, we made the short journey to Leeds’ own C.F Stead Tannery to capture the original environment in which each shoe’s journey begins with one of the most respected tanners of suede leather in the world.

Founded by German doctor Klaus Märtens, Dr. Martens was created when Klaus injured his ankle during a skiing accident – he found that his boots were too uncomfortable for his recovery and so he designed improvements with a softer leather and an air-padded sole made from tires. Dr. Martens shoes were quickly adopted by rebellious youth subcultures globally as a symbol of bold self-expression, attitude and unique style. Dr. Martens is well known for its signature yellow stitching, AirWair soles and long lasting build.

The 1461 3 Eye Shoe from Dr. Martens is one of their most iconic and popular styles that was first introduced on the 1st April 1961, exactly one year after they had introduced the 1460 in 1960. At one point, sales of the 1460 and 1461 contributed to half of the brands revenue thanks to their timeless and sturdy build which transcended style and attracted everyone from punks to laborers. Alongside being a classic British style within menswear, punk, rock and other subcultures, recent collaborations with A Bathing Ape, Engineered Garments, Needles, Supreme, Fragment Design and many more have cemented Dr. Martens as a force to be reckoned with as global tastemakers themselves.

As one of the oldest family run tanneries around – Charles F. Stead in Leeds has been producing the highest quality suede and leather since the 1890’s – back when there were hundreds of tanneries in the UK in contrast to the humble few that remain today. Using a mixture of old and new machines, the Stead Tannery achieves their desired high standards of tanning suede and leather starting with selection of leathers they acquire around the globe depending on the final product. Mostly British leathers are left soaking and pickled until achieving a state known as ‘wet blue’. Following this, the roll is tanned in large drums and then hung before being dried. This deep understanding of suede and the tanning process and craft is what helps Charles F. Stead achieve the rich colours and neppy feel they have become world renowned for in each and every pair.

For AW20, Dr. Martens present their classic 1461 3 Eye Shoe with English suede from C.F Stead in 3 classic and unique colorways of black, green and purple. The Stead suede used has a higher than usual nap level which means it’s softer than your average suede and allows for a fuzzier finish on the surface for added texture and durability.

New for AW20 at HIP – The Dr. Martens x C.F. Stead 3 Eye Suede Shoe is online now.

Outside and inside the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Hip Dr Martens 1461 shoot at the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Inside the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Hip Dr Martens 1461 shoot at the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Hip Dr Martens 1461 shoot at the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Inside the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Hip Dr Martens 1461 shoot at the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Hip Dr Martens 1461 shoot at the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Hip Dr Martens 1461 shoot at the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Inside the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Hip Dr Martens 1461 shoot at the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Hip Dr Martens 1461 shoot at the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Hip Dr Martens 1461 shoot at the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds
Inside the C.F. Stead Tannery in Leeds

Published by Oliver Jackson

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