Dries Van Noten Tackles the Wallabee

The Belgian design legend gives his take on the classic silhouette.

It’s been a big couple of months for the humble Clarks Wallabee: call it the summer of the Wally, if you will. The shoe has long been one of the most polarizing styles from British shoemaker Clarks, but fashionable dudes have flocked to ‘em like no other—and the past year has been no exception. Awake NY‘s always-stylish designer Angelo Baque swears by them; Drake’s OVO label collaborated on a pair back in March; and Clarks even gave the shoe a special super-high-end treatment. So the fact that two of the newest shoes from Belgian designer Dries Van Noten look surprisingly similar to the distinct shoe feels surprisingly on the money.

Dries Van Noten is known as one of fashion’s most cerebral designers. He has an uncanny ability to mix eccentric flair and timeless style with a difficult-to-copy ease. The fact that the designer was drawn to the quirky clog-like shape made cool by the Wallabee (with a big assist from Wu-Tang Clan, of course) isn’t a big shock. But in typical Dries fashion, the designer has made it his own, and given it some serious style punch. The Italian-made sneaker features sand-colored dyed calf hair on the upper, round glossy laces, and tonal stitching details across the shoe. If a Wallabee-inspired sneaker feels a little too casual for your liking, fear not: there is a dressier option with the same charmingly unusual silhouette. This one opts for jet-black calf hair instead (with the same tonal stitching) and comes with leather lining. Dries’ more formal-looking style feels a little closer to the original Clarks shoe—except for the fact that this version features a rugged rubber lug sole like the kind you’d expect to see on a hiking boot.

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