Sales of one of Britain’s most famous brands of shoes have rocketed in Jamaica thanks to reggae star Vybz Kartel. His single ‘Clarks’ features the line “Everybody haffi ask weh mi get mi Clarks” whilst the cover even has a picture of some of his favourite Clarks shoes (he is said to own 50 pairs). Talking about the shoes, Kartel said: “It’s as Jamaican as ackee and saltfish and roast breadfruit. Policemen wear it, gangsters wear it. Big men wear it to their work. Schoolchildren wear it to school.” As a result of the attention, prices of the shoes have risen from £46 to £78 in Jamaica.
Despite being a household name in the UK, Clarks fell out of fashion in the ‘90s and the company was forced to cut jobs. Yet the brand experienced something of a renaissance when high profile figures such as Noel and Liam Gallagher were seen sporting the shoes. ‘Clarks’ has now begun to receive plays on the BBC’s black music station 1Xtra and Kartel has since released two follow-ups to the single called ‘Clarks Again’ and ‘Clarks 3 (Wear Weh Yuh Have)’.
While all the show hoopla goes on merrily, Vybz Kartel remains jailed. He was detained last Friday at the Greater Portmore Police Station three days after Jamaica police named him and five other men as major persons of interest. The artist, whose real named is Adijah Palmer, was questioned in relation to criminal gangs in Portmore, St Catherine. He’s expected to be freed today since his detention order expires after being extended from 24 hours to five days. Still Security Minister Dwight Nelson can extend the entertainer`s detention on advice from the police under the current State of Public Emergency under which he was detained.