Inspiration behind our Origins Collection.
Posted on March 25 2019
Our first collection had to be about where we come from and where we grew up.
You might not have made the connection but each style from our Origins range bear reference to our Mancunian heritage.
We grew up in the industrial yet creative vibrant city of Manchester. A great place to grow up in the 80's with its fantastic music scene where Saturday afternoons were spent hanging out in Aflecks Palace, a treasure trove of second hand clothing, trying to find hip outfits (think along the lines of Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan or Adam Ant) for Saturday nights which were spent trying to look cool posing at the famous Hacienda club. Our ears and eyes were opened up to a new world of exciting sounds and experimental fashion.
So we wanted to pay homage to our birth place and give each style in our collection a name that was relevant to us. The first shoe had to be called 'Bee' after the worker bee emblem synonymous with the city of Manchester.
Then of course there's the 'Hilda', our feather slide named after Hilda Ogden a larger than life character from Coronation Street, (mum and dad never missed an episode) a soap that's still going strong today. She filled our sitting room every Monday evening, sadly her character left the soap many years ago. Mondays for us meant chops, chips and peas for dinner and Coronation Street!
Hilda Ogden. The Rovers Return pub.
The 'Faulkner' espadrille we named after the street in what was the textile warehouse district in the city centre. This is where our dad, a textile merchant had his cavernous warehouse filled up to the ceilings with roll upon roll of fabrics. We would have hours of fun as kids clambering up these high mountains of material, playing hide and seek, often dad would join in too and upon catching us would then proceed to tickle us to death! A happy place full of fun memories.
Manchester has been the birthplace of so many great people two of which we chose for obvious reasons. The 'Lowry and the 'Emmeline'. The latter is named after Emmeline Pankhurst, born in Moss Side, an area not too far from where we grew up and it's thanks to ladies like her that women today are where they are now.
Time magazine named her as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century, stating "she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back". Now if I could add an emoji here it would have to be a row of strong arms.
The 'Lowry' our classic studded slide we named after the painter L. S. Lowry famous for painting the urban landscapes of industrial Manchchester in the mid-20th century depicting scenes of high density urban life with its cotton mills and smoking chimneys populated by tiny stylised figures often referred to as 'matchstick men'. Does anyone remember the song 'matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs' by duo Brian and Michael?
Going to Work (1943)
Finally there's the 'Oswald', named after our primary school Oswald Road Primary. Just a bit of trivia....it's claim to fame was three famous brothers came to our school, a long time before we were there though so unfortunately no shoulders were brushed. Do the names Barry, Robin and Maurice ring any bells? Yes it’s the Bee Gees, they went to our school. Now how’s that for a bit of name dropping!
We couldn't go without mentioning our Bee logo. It's not a random choice but linked into our heritage: B, the initial of our mothers surname, Bee; after the worker bee emblem of the city of Manchester and it's textile industry (the workers in the mills were likened to worker bees in a hive). The link to the textile industry is what drew our charismatic father to settle in Manchester and set up an import export business in the 1950's so is a reminder of him. The Bee is a link to our amazing home city that provided us with a incredibly rich creative and social background to our formative years in the 70's and 80's.
You can take the girls out of Manchester but you can't take the Mancunian out of us!
❤️Mum during her modeling years.
So there you have it, hope you enjoyed this ramble of a story.