Meet The Faces of the Dr Martens Voss Sandals x BRICKS Community

In partnership with Dr Martens and in celebration of their latest Voss Animal Print Sandals collection, meet the three BRICKS community members sharing how they are remaining resilient in the face of adversity, uncertainty and political unrest.

If 2020 has proven anything to us, it’s that our community is unquestionably tough. In the last six months, we have all had to face a global pandemic and subsequent lockdown with a general consensus of confusion as we adapt to new-normals, and with little certainty of when things will return – or if they can at all.

In the meantime, we have also witnessed the Black Lives Matter protests become one of the largest global social movements in history, Pride inspiring calls for greater protections of trans women, and a number of countries – including here in the UK – have seen their governments introduce and debate new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. Even as lockdown measures begin to ease in parts of the country this week, it’s easy to feel like the overwhelmingly negative news cycle is neverending.

And yet, in the face of adversity and uncertainty, we are inspired by the unwavering resilience of our community members who are fighting for change, representation and equality.

It’s a message that footwear stalwart Dr Martens has always championed, being at the feet of rebellious freethinkers for the past 60 years. 

The first pair of Dr Martens boots rolled off the production line on the 1st April 1960. With its trademark yellow stitch, grooved sole and heel-loop, it was a boot created strong enough to withstand hard work, but with the comfort hardworking feet deserve. 

And now, thanks to Dr Martens’ latest launch, hardworking feet won’t need to take a break this summer. The Voss Animal Print Sandals collection features new cow, leopard and giraffe print uppers, blending on-trend summer styling with the brand’s signature high-quality leather and iconic yellow welt stitch. What’s more, the sandals feature the Zebrilus sole, Dr Martens’ lightest sole to date, ensuring comfort and support all summer long.

Throughout Dr Martens’ history, the brand has been adopted and subverted by diverse individuals, musicians, youth cultures and tribes. These are the people who stand out from the crowd and their journey of self-expression has always been accompanied by a pair of DMs. 

Meet three BRICKS community members expressing their personal style in Dr Marten Voss Sandals and sharing how they remain resilient in the face of adversity, uncertainty and political unrest.

Francesca Martin

“Being tough to me means continuing to be visible in a society that is actively trying to erase my existence and make the lives of my trans siblings more difficult,” says Francesca Martin, a 23-year-old trans content creator and model who has previously graced the pages of BRICKS #6.

The Newport-native uses her social platform to amplify trans experiences, sharing personal insights from her day-to-day and campaigning for trans equality. “On my platform, I talk about my experience as a trans woman in society and about the discrimination our community faces and the recent anti-trans laws being debated in Parliament,” she says. “Although I don’t see myself as an activist, I feel a duty to these conversations as I’m aware I might be the only exposure to a trans person some people have.”

Just last month, both UK and US politicians were once again debating legislation that would remove rights that trans people have only recently gained. While political debates on trans rights can create hostile social environments for trans people, Francesca says the immense outrage she’s witnessed at the removal of these rights inspires her: “I remain tough through the sense of strength I feel from seeing the overwhelming support for causes like Black Lives Matter and seeing the outrage at anti-trans laws. There truly is strength in numbers and it’s heartwarming to see people come together and know you’re not fighting this battle alone.”

Being tough to me means continuing to be visible in a society that is actively trying to erase my existence and make the lives of my trans siblings more difficult.

Francesca Martin

Nyome Nicholas–Williams 

South London born and raised Nyome Nicholas-Williams is a plus-size model, self-love and body positivity activist. When she is not advocating for Black women in the body positivity movement and appearing on BRICKS Talks panels, she’s starring in national advertising campaigns, writing open letters to the British Fashion Council urging for catwalk diversity. 

“I use my platform to support my community to share the stories of Fat Black Women that are not represented in mainstream fashion and the media. I use the safe space I have created to keep Black voices amplified and to open doors that would otherwise be kept shut to us,” she says.

Nyome has also created the mental health awareness platform Be Who You Deserve, a safe space for her followers to share experiences and connect. Nyome has boldly shared her own experiences with mental health online and in the media in order to open up conversations and reduce the stigma surrounding the topic.

“I have always had to be tough – I withstand a lot being a proud Black woman. Being tough is to be resilient and that is what I am,” she says. “I remain tough as I know that I am a descendent of tough women. I have the spirit of my ancestors with me every day and their toughness and strength transcend time and space and have been passed on to me. Knowing who I am and the power I wield helps me to remain tough – I am a Black woman of unwavering toughness but also of softness and beauty.”

Knowing who I am and the power I wield helps me to remain tough – I am a Black woman of unwavering toughness but also of softness and beauty.

Nyome Nicholas–Williams 

Sheri Scott

Tangerine-haired Sheri Scott, better known as Forever Yours Betty, is a digital multi-hyphenate and one of Scotland’s most exciting spirits in fashion. “I like to think of my page as my own little slice of the internet to talk about anything and everything I’m passionate about. We are all multifaceted humans, so although people perhaps come to my page for the colourful outfits, I like to use my voice to say what’s on my mind or talk about what is going on in the world. I love to create and make images I find beautiful but I also feel it’s our social responsibility as those with platforms to do what’s right for the greater good for the world and those around us, not just fill the Internet with more fluff.” she says.

Over the last decade, Sheri has campaigned for and collaborated with a number of charities and non-profit organizations, especially those based in Scotland. She also shares her ethos and encourages her followers to shop locally, gives tips on second-hand and vintage shopping and imparts her advice for managing stress and burnout. 

“Tough to me is making it through something you thought you never could. Defying what you thought was possible in your abilities and being stronger for it,” she says. “Being tough is a state of mind. So many of us have been going through a multitude of changes while pressurising ourselves to bake banana bread, host a zoom quiz, redecorate, learn a new language and post about it in social media. The tough part is giving yourself time to adjust, adapt, grow and feel the feels rather than mask with a “productive” task. Living alone with mental health issues during a pandemic has had its struggles, but it’s also made me realise I’m tougher than I ever knew.”

The latest Voss Animal Print Sandals collection is available to purchase from here.