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George Cox:
A Family Affair

February 2019

To celebrate the launch of the Limited Release George Cox Pop Boy, we take a look at the footwear brand embedded in subcultural history.

The George Cox name has been synonymous with quality craftsmanship since its very beginnings. Based in Northampton, England since 1906, the family business started with just two great British styles under their belt: the Derby and the Oxford, crafting each one by hand with high-quality leather.

Fast-forward to the early ‘50s and George Cox junior starts to branch out into the world of fashion. Taking note of the Teddy Boy styling of the time, he used the family’s expert craftsmanship and high-quality materials to create a smart suede shoe. Its distinguishing feature: an excessively chunky sole in textured plantation crepe, awarded it the iconic nickname, ‘the brothel creeper.’ And so, in the early 1950s in Northampton, England, the first creeper was made.

From then on, British subcultural movements went hand in hand with George Cox footwear. From the pointed leather winklepickers of the mods, to the chunky tasselled loafers of Wigan Casino dancefloor. One thing was clear: if they’re not George Cox, they’re not worth having.

With a solid range of styles in their repertoire by the time the ‘70s came along, George Cox had become permanently embedded in pop culture. It was around this time that manager / artist / iconoclast, Malcolm McLaren bought his first pair.

“My pair of George Cox creepers were probably the most important things I ever bought. They made a statement about what everyone else was wearing and thinking. To wear those shoes was a symbolic act.” - Malcom McLaren

A few years later, McLaren rocked up unannounced at the George Cox factory, holding a pair of his beloved creepers. The King’s Road shop, ‘SEX’ which he ran with wife Vivienne Westwood, had to stock the iconic George Cox creeper, and they left with an order of six different styles.

Now in its fifth generation, George Cox is still very much a family business. Their iconic designs transcend fashion, and their exceptional-quality styles are built to last a lifetime. As fashion becomes faster than ever, George Cox continues to keep doing what they’re doing. Authentic designs and good-honest craftsmanship, which has stood the test of time.

Rooted in British subculture, our Limited Release Pop Boy is a truly collaborative effort, merging details from the original design and our archive tennis shoe.

Like the creeper, the George Cox Pop Boy was first designed in the ‘50s, offering the Teddy Boys a dressed-down alternative to the original creeper. Designed with a more casual silhouette, it still has that chunky crepe sole and soft suede upper synonymous with the George Cox name.

With a sportier silhouette and lace-to-toe construction - as per our tennis plimsolls – our collaboration shoe still adopts those all-important George Cox details: suede upper, hand-finished crepe sole and tan leather in-sock. Made in Northampton, like they always have been, with skilled hands and honest machinery. With only 20 pairs available, this is a piece of modern punk history.

Images courtesy of George Cox, taken by Gareth Powell.