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Yardie's step in the right direction

UPTOWN YARDIE: Rohan and Natasha

UPTOWN YARDIE is a husband and wife owned shoe and lifestyle brand that has been going for just over two-and-a-half years. It makes middle to high end shoes which are mostly manufactured in Northampton, the heart of the British shoemaking industry.

Rohan and Natasha Clarke’s style is very much inspired and influenced by their Jamaican heritage and the Yardie boot. Their parents’ aim in coming to England in the 1950s was to make enough money to send home to support their families and to eventually return to start businesses in Jamaica. The couple wanted to carry on this legacy by creating something in Jamaica by Jamaicans that they could be proud of.

Those who know Jamaicans know that they have a love affair with the desert boot and made it a much-loved fashion accessory. In 2015 when the couple started talking about the fi rst range for Uptown Yardie Jamaica, it made complete sense to refresh the existing Yardie boot design and have it manufactured in Jamaica.

Natasha takes up the story: “With the help of JamPro, we were able to find an existing shoe manufacturer in Kingston. We have been working with them over the last year to develop the prototypes. We are about to launch a crowdfunder to help us make this project sustainable and ready for the global market.”

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