In 2003 Barker Black made head waves – classic elegance that had an unmistakably fresh identity. Quintessentially British with a modern cool aesthetic, Barker Black spoke the language that seasoned men of style could understand. Derrick Miller brand designer, and shop owner has created something special that 13 years later remains fresh, and still ahead of its competition in terms of spirit and product. I remember the first time I walked into the New York City shop a few years ago – double cross bones, classic shoes that were modern, and so damn cool!
I recently decided to revisit the brand and see how relevant they remained, I was pleasantly surprised. I must admit that while the loafers, slippers and oxfords remained true to Barker Black tradition, it is the sneakers that really made me smile this time. These bad boys are bananas!
Derrick Miller took a few minutes to tell me a little about the brand worth keeping on you radar.
What is the brand’s philosophy and overall vision?
BARKER BLACK IS ABOUT SUBVERSIVE SOPHISTICATION, EVERYTHING WE DO HAS AN UNDERCURRENT OF ROCK N ROLL OR A “FUCK YOU” ATTITUDE, NO MATTER HOW SUBTLE. THE BEST EXAMPLE OF THIS IS THE LOGO PUNCHED ON THE FRONT OF THE TOE, RATHER THAN TRADITIONAL PUNCHING I CHANGED IT TO A SKULL AND CROSSBONES TO GIVE IT ALL A LITTLE EXTRA ATTITUDE. THE SILK STRIPE UP THE SIDE ALSO HAS THE BONE MOTIF, WHAT COULD BE MORE ROCK N ROLL THAN A SKULL AND BONES ON YOUR SHOES!
Barker Black has been recognized as a shoe brand, how does a collection of sneakers enter the story?
WE GOT INTO THE SNEAKER BUSINESS PROBABLY SIX YEARS OR SO AGO WHEN NOT EVERYBODY WAS DOING IT. I WANTED SOMETHING TO WEAR ON SUNDAYS (EVERY OTHER DAY I WAS WEARING WELTED BARKER BLACK DRESS SHOES) THAT STILL FELT COOL, THEY ARE VERY EASY TO WEAR AND GO WITH EVERYTHING INCLUDING SHORTS SO ITS A GREAT ALL AROUND CASUAL SHOE.
What makes the Barker Black sneaker special amongst the ever popular and growing luxury sneaker market?
ITS REALLY THE ATTITUDE OF THE SHOE, IT IS VERY ELEGANT THE TOE PUNCH ADDS A BIT OF A DRESS SHOE FEEL, THE STRIPES ARE EXACTLY THE RIGHT WIDTH AND THE HAND STITCHES ON THE SIDES ADD AN ARTISANAL FEEL.
What best describes the made in England label?
Who is the customer for this product?
OUR CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS VERY DIVERSE, WE HAVE A LOT OF GUYS IN THE ARTS, ARCHITECTS, MOVIE GUYS MIXED IN WITH THE GUYS IN FINANCE, THE SNEAKERS IN GENERAL TEND TO APPEAL TO OUR COOLER GUYS, THE GUYS WHO “GET IT”.. GENERALLY THEY WANT SOMETHING WELL MADE THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS THAT IS NOT SUPER FLASHY…