As our very own name suggests, collaboration and collective creativity is immeasurably important to us. When the opportunity arose to share a space with a brand so alike in mind set, outlook and aesthetic to The Workers Club we jumped at the chance. This April, we're thrilled to be popping up in Stockholm for a two week residency at the C.QP Seasonal Store.
Founded in Stockholm in 2013, C.QP (an acronym for Conversations and Quintessential Products) was born out of a desire for outstanding products of the highest quality. Designed in Sweden and handcrafted in Portugal, C.QP’s collection of sneakers are exactly that; understated, timeless and exquisitely made. C.QP are fellow detail obsessives and every sneaker is meticulously crafted with the qualities you’d expect; waxed cotton laces, Italian leathers and luxurious cushioning for comfort with every step. It goes without saying, these shoes are the perfect pairing for our own pieces. Think chinos rolled at the ankles with a pristine white C.QP quarter top sneaker or our selvedge denim jeans with suede low top lace-ups; it’s a match made in minimalist heaven.
We caught up with founder Adam Lewenhaupt to find out more about the CQP journey so far.
TWC: This is your inaugural pop-up store in Stockholm, we are very proud to be part of it, how do you feel C.QP and TWC align?
ADAM L: I was really happy when you accepted our invitation to come over to Stockholm and do a pop-up together. The idea we had was to invite brands that we admire and I do feel TWC is a great example of a brand that not only has a great aesthetic but also the right approach to production, craftsmanship and quality. There is a lot of integrity around TWC and fantastic attention to detail. These are the exact qualities we ourselves strive towards.
TWC: Do you design for a specific target customer?
ADAM L: We never really think in those terms to be honest but are probably quite selfish in how we develop our products. We look to ourselves a lot and ask what we would like to wear and the perhaps we inevitably end up catering to certain tastes.
TWC: Can you describe your target customer?
ADAM L: I think our target is quite broad but our typical customer is probably someone who cares about wearing something a little special, in terms of design, provenance and origin. He or she cares a lot about quality, fit and finish and enjoys really fine things, but is not into ostentatious branding and the consumption that goes with that. We’d like to think of ourselves as a “smart luxury” brand.
TWC: Do you consider yourself a lifestyle brand or a shoe brand? Do they go hand in hand?
ADAM L: I do believe they go hand in hand and although we only make shoes at the moment, we see us as a brand that fulfils a need of a certain moment or activity in a person’s life. And I guess that mindset would allow us to do more than shoes at some point, but we are careful not to rush too quickly into things.
TWC: The idea of collaboration and the crossover of creative disciplines is clearly integral to your ethos; is this becoming more prevalent in the Swedish market?
ADAM L: I believe as a small brand it is a way to be inspired and reach a wider audience, as well as a way to compete with much larger brands through clever ideas. I think it is a sign of our time to be collaborative. It is important though to use it as a way to strengthen your own brand rather than dilute it.
TWC: How important is provenance when it comes to your products?
ADAM L: Very important. Our belief is that our customers agree. It is about being 100% content and proud of the products we make - and not knowing in what environment our shoes were produced or of which materials would not work to achieve that. But everything has a price, and in the end it is the customers who decide if they are willing to pay a premium for that.
TWC: Do you feel that being Swedish is part of your brands identity or do you feel more international in your outlook?
ADAM L: I think it is actually quite Swedish to have an international outlook. We are such a small population and market, so we don't have a choice if we want to reach some scale. Of course, the Scandinavian aesthetic is something we have with us but the way we think of our business or our customers is international. All our communication is in English and the majority of our sales is to international markets.
TWC: Whats next for C.QP ?
ADAM L: We continue to carefully update our collection and continuously evaluate new ideas. Who knows, perhaps our next pop-up will be over in the UK?
We’re at the C.QP Seasonal Store on Humlegårsgatan 14 in Stockholm until the end of April. You can find out more about C.QP at www.c-qp.com.