•  [From URBAN OUTFITTERS Blog Post: T.U.K. - Featured Brand]

    Founded 25 years ago, T.U.K. Shoes creates unique footwear inspired by individuals with eclectic tastes. We [UO] went behind the scenes at their San Diego, CA headquarters to see how they make their designs a reality. 

    Photo courtesy of T.U.K. Shoes / Zach Abels

     

    Originally from Northampton, England, T.U.K. founder Ian White moved to the sandy shores of San Diego, CA in 1990, and a year later, the brand was born. White, whose family had been manufacturing English footwear since the 1890s, brought with him the distinctly British sensibilities of family’s business and found tremendous inspiration in the blossoming So-Cal punk rock scene. The result: a one-of-a-kind brand of footwear that channels punk roots across continents. 

     

    The brand opened its first retail store in 1991, selling its own shoes in-house. Demand quickly took off, and soon T.U.K. was selling worldwide. T.U.K. creates everything from women’s high heels to sneakers, but their most popular design is, without a doubt, the creeper. 

     

  •  

    History of the Brothel Creeper: First developed during WWII, the thick creeper-sole was made from crepe rubber that helped soldiers in the North African deserts traverse hot, sandy terrain. As is often the case, fashion followed the functional developments of war time, and the thick-soled boots worn by returning soldiers caught on in England. In London, the decades following the war gave way to a kaleidoscopic cultural underground with subcultures sparking, growing, clashing, and fizzling out. One such, The Teddy Boys, laid the groundwork for the Mod culture of the ‘60s. 

  •  

  •  

    Inspired by the Edwardian dress of the Dandies, the Teddy Boy style grew alongside the introduction of American rock n’ roll music. Teds wore larger, draped jackets, and high-wasted trousers. Their wore their collars loose and often adorned their outfits with exocentric detailing like Bolo Ties and velvet trim. Greased hair pervaded. And if you were to look down, you’d be sure to find Teds wearing slickly polished oxfords, or the crepe-soled classic, creepers. 

    Of course through the ‘60s and ‘70s as the rise of the Rockers and the Mods took hold, interest in traditional Teddy Boy-centric garb ebbed and flowed, and it wasn’t until the rise of punk in the mid ‘70s that the creeper once again found footing, an uptick that continued well into the ‘80s, survived the ‘90s, and exploded with the advent of the internet.

  • Now more than ever, outsider styles and subcultures wield style influence around the globe, and with its foundations steeped in English style and a West Coast punk way of life, T.U.K. manages to perfectly embody the culture clash of the last decades. 

  •  

  • Photo courtesy of T.U.K. Shoes / Jono White
  •  
     

    ////////// MEET THE T.U.K. TEAM //////////

    IAN
    What you do for the company?

    Good question, and one better answered by those below. The reality is that I created this living thing when I migrated to the Land Of The Free many years ago, and gathered together the amazing people who give it life today.

    What is a hobby/interest/passion of yours?


    Very sadly, my passion is these damn things we wear on our feet. Can’t help myself. It’s a disease that is hereditary, in that my great grandfather started making shoes when Victoria was his Queen. I love them, I am obsessed with them, and more than anything I love what they mean to the people who wear them. As I said, I’m a sad old bastard with no hope of redemption.

    What is your all time favorite T.U.K. shoe?


    A flame shoe which we developed first, was copied often, and became an integral part of many people’s lives.
     
     
    CARA
    What you do for the company?

    Managing Director.

    What is a hobby/interest/passion of yours?


    When I’m not working (which isn’t often) I watch WAY too much t.v., go to shows and dream about shooting and printing black & white photos again someday.

    What is your all time favorite T.U.K. shoe?


    My all time favorite T.U.K. shoe was my very first pair- TUX black patent leather mondo creepers… 15 years ago! Yikes!

    What is your favorite T.U.K. sponsored band?

    Northern Towns.

    What are you currently rocking out to?

    Doves.
     
     
    ALMA
    What you do for the company?

    I handle receiving, sales orders, invoices, administrative duties and more…

    What is a hobby/interest/passion of yours?

    Swimming & sleep.

    What is your all time favorite T.U.K. shoe?


    I love all the T.U.K. boots!
     
     
     
     
     
    MEGHAN MINA
    What you do for the company?

    I am the Web Marketing Merchandiser & Social Media Strategist.

    What is a hobby/interest/passion of yours?


    I love doing anything creative. I spend a lot of my spare time making jewelry for a collection I started with my sister called Ardent Reverie and vending at local art/craft shows. Besides that I also love archery, live music, collecting prints, my pup Layla, and coffee.... couldn’t live without it!

    What is your all time favorite T.U.K. shoe?

    All the velvet styles are great but the burgundy velvet mondo creeper is my favorite.

    What is your favorite T.U.K. sponsored band?

    The Material

    What are you currently rocking out to?

    Anberlin, Phantogram, Young Wonder, Local Natives, Purity Ring, Little Dragon, Milky Chance …
     
     
     
    JAMES
    What you do for the company?

    Private label footwear sales.

    What is a hobby/interest/passion of yours?


    Surfing, punk rock shows and yoga.

    What is your all time favorite T.U.K. shoe?

    Black suede low viva creeper.

    What is your favorite T.U.K. sponsored band?

    The Dickies.

    What are you currently rocking out to?
     
    Late 70’s and 80’s punk rock and some newer indie punk bands.
    MARK
    What you do for the company?

    I am T.U.K.'s Marketing Manager.

    What is a hobby/interest/passion of yours?

    When I’m not working on photo shoots, designing catalogs, or posting on T.U.K.'s Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter I love to make & play music and go to shows, clubs, & parties. I love hanging with my friends & family and to just get loud & silly. ...charades anyone?

    What is your all time favorite T.U.K. shoe?

    I have always liked the Black & White Newspaper Print Creeper Sneakers (A7552), but any of the Low Sole Pointed Toe Creepers are my jams too. Oh, and the VLK Sneakers... just too many favs to pick just one.

    What is your favorite T.U.K. sponsored band?

    The Red Devil Squadron (check em out).

    What are you currently rocking out to?

    The Strokes.
     
     
     
     
     

    JOIN THE REVOLUTION!!!

    ▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲

     

     

    Follow us pleeeze:

     facebook twitter instagram pinterest youtube