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Fred Perry buys George Cox footwear

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

10 Feb 2021

Business

Fred Perry Holdings has acquired the trading business of Geo J Cox Ltd and will add footwear brand George Cox into its wider group of British brands including Fred Perry and Lavenham, which is owned by the Japanese parent company Hit Union.

George Cox, a name synonymous with quality and craftsmanship since its beginnings in 1906 will be integrated into Fred Perry Holdings’ long-term investment strategy with access to the global niche distribution network and digital expertise of the wider group.

Fred Perry said in a statement that Adam Waterfield would continue as managing director of the heritage footwear brand, and Steve Gollings will remain on as head of operations.

In addition, George Cox would continue with its premium Goodyear Welted production in Northamptonshire, as well as exploring further production capabilities in Portugal.

Both brands are long-time collaborators with deep subcultural roots, and George Cox added that it welcomes the investment and skills that this partnership brings, and with it, the opportunity “to further develop as a global brand broadening their reach to a wider range of people around the world, leading to sustainable digital-led growth”.

Fred Perry Holdings acquires the trading business of Geo J Cox Ltd

George Cox, a fifth-generation family business, started with just two styles - the Derby and the Oxford, crafting each one by hand with high-quality leather. The brand took off in the early 1950s when George Cox junior started to branch out into the world of fashion. Inspired by 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,’ became the world’s first creeper.

The footwear brand has been involved in numerous British subcultural movements from the pointed leather winkle pickers of the mods, to the chunky tasselled loafers of Wigan Casino dancefloor. In the 1970s, the brand became permanently embedded in pop culture as its winklepickers and Jodphur boots became the footwear of choice for legends such as Johnny Rotten, Paul Simonon, Joe Strummer, and Sid Vicious.

In recent years, George Cox has introduced collaborations with designer and streetwear brands including Comme des Garçons, Bathing Ape, Yohji Yamamoto, Human Made, and Fred Perry.

Images: courtesy of Fred Perry/George Cox

Fred Perry
Geo J Cox Ltd
George Cox