George Cox:
A Family Affair

February 2019

We trace the history of George Cox, 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.

Images courtesy of George Cox, taken by Gareth Powell.