By LINDA G. RASTELLI
Whats a Doc Martens lover to do when he cant find the styles of the British brand that he wants in the United States?
Readers of a certain generation or two may recognize the name. Before they were embraced by the pierced, pale, punk-rock set as well as skinheads in the mid-’70s, Dr. Martens was the industrial shoe brand of choice for Great Britain’s postal workers and policemen. They bought the footwear with the trademark yellow stitching (done with fishing line) for its practicality and durability, not urban cachet.
In America, Docs enjoyed a heady post-punk sales surge in the early 1990s. But the company that made them didn’t have a dedicated store Stateside, leaving devotees increasing unshod when the brand retreated from fashionability.
Dean Ross was among the sole-shattered. Raised by an English-born mother, he always “loaded up on Docs for the girls” when traveling in the U.K. after he’d married and become the father of three, he says.
Then, seven years, ago, sensing a business opportunity and tired of working in the Bagel Oven store that he still co-owns on Monmouth Street in Red Bank, Ross opened the Doc Shoppe, the first dedicated Doc Martens retailer in the United States.
In Fair Haven, no less a smokestack-free bedroom community that’s more Sinatra than Sex Pistols and light years away from London’s East End or New York’s Lower East Side, for that matter.