Believe it or not, Underground Creepers have been a part of British fashion since the end of WWII. From soldiers to teddy boys to A/W 2011, they’re creeping back into fashion.
The Brothel Creepers were first created by soldiers who attached rubber soles from old tyres to their suede boots. Upon returning from the war they’d sneak/creep into brothels in Soho and Kings Cross, which gave the shoes their name. Since then they’ve become an iconic part of British subcultures; punks, Teddy Boys and most recently the Rockabilly revival all included. There are now numerous brands jumping on the bandwagon creating their own versions of creepers including Prada and Dr. Martens, but Underground remain the most creeper of choice, including the newest triple platform numbers.
Teddy Boys led the charge, the first to incorporate Underground Creepers into their look, teaming them with drainpipes and drape jackets. The shoes dropped off the scene during the 60s, however in the 70s they were bought back by the punks, which Ashish’s A/W 11 collection paid homage to. Underground made a name for itself globally during the late 80s when demand took them to Europe, the US and Asia. Grunge and rock’n'roll subcultures kept Underground creepers going through the nineties, and in the noughties Underground branched out yet again, launching the Winklepicker Creepers.
Over the last year or so Underground Creepers have stepped away from the Camden punk scene, adopted by the East London posse, working their way onto the Balenciaga catwalk last year and collaborating with Mugler and Ashish. With designs in an array of colours, patterns and materials, and styles varying from brothel to platforms to Winklepicker, it’s near impossible not to find a shoe for you, especially now there’s the option to create your own designs with the Ashish X Underground collaboration. The leather studded creepers come complete with a bottle of tip-ex and an instruction booklet of useful tips such as ‘remove shoes from the box’, so you’re primed to graffiti your garms in tru British punk style. Worry not, if you’re creativity is lacking you can always buy a ready made pair, but where’s the fun in that?