C. & J. Clark International Ltd, doing business as Clarks, is a British international shoe manufacturer and retailer majority owned by Viva Goods. It was founded in 1825 by Cyrus Clark in the village of Street, Somerset, England, where the company's headquarters remain.
Origins of C. & J. Clark can be traced back to 1821 when Cyrus Clark (1801–1866) entered into a partnership with a Quaker cousin in the trade of fellmongering, wool-stapling and tanning in Street, Somerset. By 1825, this partnership had been dissolved and Cyrus relocated to a site on the High Street in Street, utilising premises that belonged to his father-in-law to exploit his idea of making rugs out of sheepskins instead of pulling off the wool. C. & J. Clark recognise this as the beginning of their business and continue to occupy the site upon which Cyrus started to this very day.
By 1828, as the business had grown, Cyrus appointed his younger brother James (1811–1906) as an apprentice. Educated away from Street, James was meant to be apprentice to a chemist in Bath, but successfully pleaded with his parents to let him stay in Street and help Cyrus. In 1828–1829, whilst serving this apprenticeship, James began utilising the offcuts that were too short for making rugs to produce slippers (known as Brown Petersburgs). The slippers were made using outworkers who collected materials from the factory, assembled footwear in workshops at home and returned the finished product for payment. This trade rapidly evolved, providing James with a legitimate claim to an equal partnership in the business when his apprenticeship was served in 1833. Thereafter, it traded as C. & J. Clark.
From the very beginning they have always thought differently. And done things differently too. From the slipper created by Cyrus and James Clark back in 1825 to the world's first foot-shaped shoe; from their kids' ranges in whole sizes, half sizes and a choice of widths to our state-of-the-art iPad foot gauge; from innovative underfoot cushioning to rapid prototyping and 3D printing, brilliant ideas are what set them apart.
In their archive of more than 22,000 Clarks styles are shoes that have sparked a revolution, defined a generation and captured the imagination. Like the iconic Clarks Desert Boot. Designed by Nathan Clark, launched in 1950, its appeal endures to this day.
Clarks is a renowned and historic shoe company with a rich legacy dating back to its founding in 1825 by Cyrus and James Clark in Street, Somerset, England. The company's origins can be traced to the crafting of sheepskin rugs, slippers, and shoes from offcuts of leather. Over the years, Clarks evolved into a global footwear brand, establishing a significant presence in the fashion and footwear industry.
Initially operating as C. & J. Clark, the company gained prominence for its commitment to craftsmanship and innovation. In 1883, the Clarks introduced the Hygienic line of footwear, featuring foot-conforming insoles and the signature Desert Boot in 1950, which became an iconic design and remains popular to this day.
Clarks is renowned for its dedication to comfort, quality, and style. The company has continually adapted to changing fashion trends and technological advancements while staying true to its roots of producing well-crafted, comfortable shoes. Their emphasis on combining traditional shoemaking expertise with modern materials and design has contributed to the brand's enduring success.
The Clarks shoe company has expanded its product line to encompass a wide array of footwear, including casual and formal shoes, boots, sandals, and athletic shoes. It has successfully positioned itself as a versatile brand catering to various consumer preferences and lifestyles.
Through its extensive retail network and e-commerce platforms, Clarks has made its mark globally, maintaining a strong presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and other parts of the world. The brand has become synonymous with reliability, comfort, and timeless style, making it a favorite among generations of consumers.
Clarks continues to be a prominent player in the footwear industry, with a legacy that exemplifies quality, heritage, and innovation. For the most current and detailed information about the historic Clarks shoe company, I recommend referring to the company's official website or other reliable sources
Learn more about footwear here on Apparel Search.