April 18, 2024

Dr. Martens Honors AAPI Heritage Month With 1460 Boots Reimagined by Young Artists

Dr. Martens took an artistic approach to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month this May — and uplifted young artists in the process.

As part of its ongoing mission to support and acknowledge AAPI creatives and entrepreneurs, the British footwear brand partnered with three artists of AAPI descent in the month of May. The project — seen on Dr. Martens’ website — found each personalizing their own Martens boots to showcase their talents and individual backgrounds.

Dr. Martens, AAPI Heritage Month, AAPI, AAPI culture, boots, collaborations
Jackie Lu’s boots for Dr. Martens’ AAPI Heritage Month 2023 collaboration.
CREDIT: JACKIE LU/COURTESY OF DR. MARTENS

The first was Brooklyn-based illustrator and graphic novelist Sarula Bao, who painted her cream 1460 lace-up boots with a green, purple and cream landscape complete with cloudy skies, flowers and a miniature rabbit — all inspired by her Chinese American heritage.

The collaboration also tapped Duy Vo, a Vietnamese artist and designer based in New York City. Vo opted to paint his black Chelsea boots with a swirling blue wave pattern, accented on the left shaft by a blazing red phoenix and a majestic golden dragon on the right — both inspired by the Vietnamese creation myth from Lạc Long Quân and Âu Cơ.
Dr. Martens, AAPI Heritage Month, AAPI, AAPI culture, boots, collaborations
Duy Vo’s boots for Dr. Martens’ AAPI Heritage Month 2023 collaboration.
CREDIT: DUY VO/COURTESY OF DR. MARTENS
The final artist within the collaboration was Chinese American painter Jackie Lu. Lu revamped her black vegan leather 1460 boots with a delicate painting of a purple and white crane at sunset, perched atop intricate budding branches.
Dr. Martens, AAPI Heritage Month, AAPI, AAPI culture, boots, collaborations
Sarula Bao’s boots for Dr. Martens’ AAPI Heritage Month 2023 collaboration.
CREDIT: SARULA BAO/COURTESY OF DR. MARTENS
Additionally, Dr. Martens also spotlit two AAPI influencers, Hina and Vincent Uong, to show how they styled their own pairs of Dr. Martens footwear.
Dr. Martens’ artist collaborations follow its lengthy slate of co-branded projects and initiatives. This year, the brand has also launched collaborative shoes and collections with A Cold Wall, Supreme, Undercover and BT21, as well as limited-edition Pride Month boots with artists Loveis Wise and Fuyuki Kanai.

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