In 1943, British troops returned from fighting in North Africa to London’s rain-slicked streets. Dusty and battle-weary, the soldiers sought release.They caroused in the insalubrious nightspots of King Cross and Soho.Here the crepe-soled desert boots they wore became known as “Brothel Creepers”.
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Inspired by the shoes’ suede upper and hardwearing sole, a local cobbler adapted and refined the style. In a radically streamlined form the Creeper was then adopted by emergent Teddy Boys.
Channelling Edwardian dandyism, while cocking-a-snook at the conservatism of post-war Britain the “Teds” evolved. They were young, free and looking for a good time. This attitude reflected in the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The rebellious rise of punk saw Creepers on the feet of some of the scene’s most independent–minded individuals. The Creeper stayed popular as new wave took hold.
By the early 1980’s, the Creeper had fallen out-of-favour with all but the diehard wearers. Underground in its early years adopted the Creeper as one of the British subculture styles that it would champion. Almost unwanted and barely available, especially for girls, this was a shoe that Underground would take hold of and take care of.
Underground Creepers, first produced in the early 1980’s, were sold in our Underground store in Manchester. In 1987, we included it in our first seasonal collection for distribution internationally. The Creeper has remained in our collection for every subsequent season.
Through the years of Brit-pop when the style was still being shunned, it emerged in the early 2000s, being picked for catwalks in New York, London and Paris.
By 2010, the Underground Creeper had set itself as the go-to shoe for the fashion blogger generation. Worn by Rihanna, Rita Ora, Beyonce and Kiko Mizuhara. Now it is the favourite of a new generation of bands from the UK and around the world.
The Original Underground Creeper – Algender since the 80’s.
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