Lola Young & Dr Martens

Step into the world of Mademe, the grunge meets streetwear brand, who’s visionary leader, Erin Magee has a knack for spotting remarkable girls at the onset of their trajectory. She introduced Lola Young, the electrifying British singer-songwriter to Dr. Martens, sparking a friendship that sees Lola bound into the fashion world.

“I get really excited when I see you on Instagram,” Erin says from her New York design studio, to Lola who is having a needed day off between shows while touring Spain. “It’s very rare for me to see a young girl who is so unfiltered and has that raw feeling. I love seeing what you’re wearing, like you’ll throw on a vintage tee… I can see why you’re selling out shows. People gravitate towards that realness. But you can also sing!”

Erin stumbled upon Lola’s Instagram, describing her as, “talented, raw, and rebellious, like sixth sense guiding me,” making her the perfect candidate to act as the face of the Mademe collaboration with Dr Martens. Lola’s own career, as a BRIT-nominated, straight-talking young woman with a big voice and a penchant for penning songs about tortured relationships, has taken her from being a smooth-haired chanteuse in the early days to now, a messy-mullet-ed, OTT-fake-eyelashed, lipstick-wearing provocateur. “Lola’s music is the same as how she looks,” Erin, who is also Creative Director of Supreme, says. “It’s the real shit. There’s so many fake things and fashion can be the most pretend, but I’ve always been interested in this girl who does exactly what she wants.”

“It’s just about not being fake,” Lola chimes in. “Authenticity is the feeling of, “I don’t give a f*ck.” I’m not going to paint over something or over think it or beat around the bush. It’s just going to be me. Over thinking can be really damaging. It can show up on camera. You just have to believe and be confident.”

The two met IRL during the campaign shoot in London for the collaboration; the final product being a a 1461 3-eye shoe built on a Quad sole, featuring signature yellow welt stitching and an exposed steel toe capped in a heart-shaped cutout. “They're amazing, they're the right mix of my energy and [Erin’s] energy. They have such character,” says Lola.

“I’ve wanted to do a Dr. Martens collaboration for a long time,” Erin says, “It’s an iconic piece in any rebellious girl’s wardrobe. I always wanted to do a steel toe, the coolest girls always wear a steel toe.” Lola nods in agreement. “And I wanted to do a shape; so we did a heart. It’s a good mix of what my brand is, a hard girl with a soft girl femininity: a heart laid over a steel toe.” Long a fan of a Dr. Martens, Erin’s first pair were a pair of iconic1460’s 8-eye boot, in forest green with a rainbow lace. Lola confesses to having he super high ones as her first pair, and now is the owner of multiple pairs, despite the joy of breaking them in.

Although the pair’s creative output is very different, they both begin with similar creative starting points: Erin, a self-confessed visual person, “grabs” something, “it could be from a movie or taking a picture of someone on the street. I’m such a creep doing that.” Lola keeps notes in her phone, “I don’t write on paper,” she laughs, “I physically cannot write. But I am a quick typer, I have 6000 notes. I’ll write down a lyric then come back to it, I can start a song with a melody or a lyric, it depends.” Turning those ideas into things, whether it’s a shoe or a song, however, is the secret creative magic. “I was just saying to my daughter that it’s all cool to have an idea, but it’s a different thing to have an idea and then create something and then stand by it,” Erin confesses. “Yeah,” Lola agrees. “The third part is the hardest part. Believing in what you do can be just so difficult.” Her debut album, belies this. 'It Wasn’t Meant For You Anyway,’ is packed with attitude, full of loose-lipped, pop music with a punchy twist with a sonic swagger.

Erin’s fashion inspiration comes from a broad range of sources. “I’m a massive Jean-Paul Gaultier collector,” she grins. “What he did with Madonna in the 90s was important for me, this woman, wearing a suit with a shoulder and a bustier on top, it was so empowering,” she says of the French designer. “Of course, I also love Bjork, and all the Riot Grrrl stuff – Kathleen Hanna, Courtney Love, and grunge. But then I live in New York, so I also love all the early hip-hop girls too.” While Lola confesses she doesn’t know anything about fashion, she admits her current style influences are hip hop, Billie EiIlish, Doja Cat and Willow Kayne. The beauty, of course, about a Dr. Martens’ shoe is that they transverse style tribes – they are all about the attitude of empowerment. “That’s what I love about this campaign,” laughs Lola. “It’s got this attitude of, ‘we are women, and we are strong.’”

This Wasn’t Meant For You Anyway is released 21st June.

Dr. Martens x Mademe available from Friday 24th May from, Dover Street Market, Ssense