Style Focus - Creepers
Style Focus : Creepers
27 Jun 2012
Arguably the first great youth subculture footwear
Creepers, otherwise known as brothel creepers, are currently witnessing somewhat of a revival within the world of contemporary fashion. The hard-wearing, crepe-soled beast of a shoe is now favoured by the fashion-forward world over. But how many people know the story of the creepers humbled beginnings?
The suede upper and hard-wearing crepe sole that constitutes a classic creeper silhouette first made an appearance in the years following World War II, with soldiers based in the desert regions of North Africa wearing the shoe to combat the harsh climate of their surroundings. After leaving the army, many of these ex-soldiers retuned to London, crepe-soled shoes intact. The men would scour popular nightspots of the time, wearing these unusual looking army issue shoes, that were soon to be renamed 'brothel creepers'.
The shoes first foray into popular culture was in the late 1950s when the young Teddy Boys adopted the creeper as part of their rebellious street uniform. Alongside drainpipe trousers, draped jackets, bolo ties and pompadour quiff haircuts, the shoe was a mainstay piece in what is arguably the first great youth subculture look.
The creeper reentered the scene in the early 1970s when Malcolm McLaren and his then partner Vivienne Westwood started selling the shoe at their now infamous Let it Rock shop on the Kings Road, London. Revivalist Teddy Boys were still an obvious customer, yet the creeper was soon to be adopted by a younger, angrier audience.
Through the McLaren association, the shoe was soon a favoured footwear choice of the punk generation and were frequently spotted on the feet of punk royalty such as John Lydon and Joe Strummer. Creepers have since been incorporated into the wardrobes of countless subcultural movements. From New Wavers to Pyschobillies, Greasers to Goths, the shoe is a true subcultural icon.
This Spring/Summer at The Goodhood Store we have received two exclusive creeper-inspired shoes from everyones favourite footwear villain - Mark McNairy. Firstly we have the refined Navy Creeper that combines the classic D ring fastening with a subtle step crepe sole, creating a more contemporary, wearable style that maintains the original creeper sensibilities. For those looking for more a statement shoe, we also have the Sandstone Creeper that features an all-out wedge crepe sole, more attuned to an archetypal creeper silhouette. Shop McNairy here.