by Eric Twardzik
The air in 2019 is rife with four-letter words, and we’d rather not contribute to the chorus unless we really mean it. And in the case of the F*ck You Buck, made in collaboration with Blackstock & Weber, we most certainly do.
So, why the French? We think it’s in keeping with the true spirit of the white buck, which today is viewed through too genteel of a lens. Before the white shoe became synonymous with garden parties and seersucker, it was the shoe of choice for college punks. That’s right, punks. White suede bucks were Dr. Martens before Dr. Martens.
During the Jazz Age, rebellious Ivy League students would lace up white bucks with their tweed and flannels. From grass stains to beer splotches, they’d let their white bucks accumulate as much dirt as possible as a way of politely extending their middle finger towards the establishment.
Perhaps that’s why the white buck feels like the missing link between Fred’s past and present. During his adolescent punk phase, Fred lived in Docs. So when the opportunity arose to design a shoe with Blackstock & Weber—another made in England shoe label—he saw it as a chance to revive the white buck’s punk spirit by infusing it with Dr. Marten-inspired details.
What kind of details? For starters, we set our buck on a boot last that flaunts a bulbous toe box and a rounder profile akin to the original Dr. Marten 1461. We then bulked it up with metal eyelets, and a chunky, aggressive sole perfectly capable of kicking someone’s teeth in (of course, only when in dire straits).
But we didn’t abandon any of the refined details that have kept the white buck a prep staple through the years. Its upper is made from supple white suede—not nubuck—and has a velvety nap. In keeping with tradition, its chunky Ridgeway sole is made from brick-red rubber with an art deco tread pattern.
The other features are in line with quality shoemaking (and as Blackstock & Weber employs a third-generation Northampton workshop, we’d expect nothing less). You may know the drill: all-over calfskin leather lining, traditional Goodyear cork lining, and a storm-welted Goodyear construction that seam-seals the outsole, keeping out moisture (i.e. Negronis) and the elements (i.e. other people’s Negronis).
And yet, these carefully considered details will have been in vain if only worn to your annual Derby Day party. We designed the F*ck You Buck for everyday wear through dilapidated downtown subways, on post-dinner strolls, and for snuffing out American Spirits greedily smoked all the way down to the filter. The nappy white suede is primed to bare every scuff, scrape, and stain until they’re as lived-in as the threadbare Persian rug on your living room floor.
Wear your F*ck You Bucks after Labor Day…especially after Labor Day. And if anyone doesn’t like it, well, let your shoes deliver your French for you.