Wearing a piece of band merch to proudly proclaim your affinity for an artist is, of course, a long tradition of fandom. Especially in the more tribal days of pop music, it was a way you signaled some theoretically defining part of yourself. Back in the day, as silly as it might seem, this meant something.
Of course, in the inexorable march towards death we all experience day to day, everything must eventually become defanged and commodified at some point. So, by the time the 21st century rolled around, you had a somewhat inexplicable middle school trend in which everyone was wearing that one Ramones T-shirt because you could find it on the racks at Kohl’s.
Soon enough, everything rebellious and disruptive becomes an accessory for your grandkids. It happened to the counterculture rock revolutionaries of the ’60s, and then the lascivious drug fiend hard rockers of the ’70s, to the punks, and even the post-punk movement that followed soon after. Just as you discover the Ramones and that leads you to Joy Division, so too will a kid eventually tire of people asking them “Do you really know what CBGB’s is?” and trade in a Ramones emblem for that enigmatic wave from Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures cover.
So anyway, today brings us a new installment of a company cashing in — I mean paying tribute to the legacy of a beloved, influential alternative act. Dr. Martens, a brand well-loved by many musicians through the generations, has unveiled three new spins on their 1460 boot. One is inspired by the aforementioned pulsar wave cover of Unknown Pleasures, but kinda looks like the sort of textured leather that would’ve looked cool in The Matrix.
The others nod instead to New Order, with one being an extremely vibrant representation of the cover from 1989’s house-tinged Technique. The third option is a classy iteration with the flowers from 1983’s Power, Corruption, & Lies. Honestly, I’d probably wear those ones. What can I say: New Order’s one of my favorite bands and I would welcome strangers at bars starting conversations about them with me by asking what the fuck is on my shoes. If you are so inclined, you can check the different styles out here, here, and here.
Below, revisit the best song from New Order’s Power, Corruption, & Lies. (This assertion is not up for debate; I know my shit, as my New Order-themed boots will soon prove.)