Introducing, Stepney Worker's Club
by Ian Peterson·
Built by freethinkers, sneaker brand Stepney Workers Club was created to fill a gap in the sneaker market: the perfect “authentic” vulcanized shoe. It’s rare that a company so new can instantly feel so timeless, yet SWC’s quality production and unique design accomplishes just that. Born out of East London, the “brand to watch” for 2021 is now available at LIKELIHOOD.
Freedom of Sport, Freedom of Thought, is the moniker adopted by Stepney Workers Club. Representing their deep commitment to inclusivity and diversity. Only a handful of other brands have maintained an honest ethos of inclusivity, offering reasonably-priced products in the most accessible manner possible. No sneaker brand holds more true to this model than Stepney Workers Club (SWC), a footwear brand born out of East London nearly three years ago. Fueled by free and liberal thinking, SWC’s sneakers bring about their creators’ affinity for unique activities and sports. Some designs bring about memories of Scalectrix races, while others include collaborations inspired by organized British “shin kicking” competitions.
LIKELIHOOD’s first venture into a relationship with this exciting label comes in the form of their most popular silhouette: the Dellow. The sneaker represents the high standard to which all SWC creations are held, primarily showcased in its vulcanized rubber sole--a technique in which rubber is hardened and solidified through exposure to sulfur. Atop this sole is a varied assortment of colors and materials, all of which contribute to the athleisure vision of the brand.
Lucky for us, any further description of the brand and their work can be handed over to the creators themselves, as we were lucky enough to hear from them directly.
It's often that brands will be formed out of a need or lack of something... what hole do you feel like SWC is filling in the sneaker world right now?
We essentially felt there was something lacking with the offering from the big authentic vulc brands. There was an opportunity for something new that could be our ‘perfect shoe’, taking into consideration things like proportions, feel, details, silhouette etc. whilst ignoring trend and ‘hype’ that we felt over-saturated the sneaker brand market.
We feel we created something that’s accessible, authentic, grounded in familiarity and can appeal to various sub-cultures. We have had a lot of love from customers commenting that they’ve been searching for something like us for a while and that they’ve now found their go-to sneaker for years to come. It’s maybe hard to define yet what we are in the sneaker world now or what exactly we have created… but we’re happy with what we’ve achieved so far.
The Dellow silhouette feels like it's been around forever, how were you able to give it that sense of timelessness? What details are you most proud of from the shoe?
The overall proportions and silhouette ultimately ground it in a look that has been relevant in any decade from the last 70 years. That was something very deliberate from the start, to make it feel like a timeless piece of anyone’s sneak.
Your sneakers have caught a massive buzz on TikTok recently... how do you feel about the brand's rapid growth in streetwear communities, and does that line up with your ultimate target audience?
We’re creating a buzz on TikTok?! Damn, we were blissfully unaware! We have seen signs of the brand being ‘accepted’ with certain streetwear communities and that’s important to us. Ultimately, we want longevity and a brand that can withstand the test of time and be adopted and accessible to varying sub-cultures; a new ‘authentic’ brand that can create its own story.