Interview with Simon See from Stepney Workers Club

We are two seasons deep in working together with Stepney Workers Club and the brand has a nice little buzz around it. We thought it best we caught up with brand manager Simon See for quick chat.

Image of two men on back of van

Hello Simon, how are you today and where in the world are you?

SS: I’m cool...Currently in Shoreditch, east London.

Can you give us a brief history into how S.W.C started, the story and inspiration behind the concept of the brand?

SS: We came across a vintage US vulcanised sneaker that then ignited a conversation about what we perceived to be the perfect VULC. It then led onto what we saw as a gap in a very busy market, a gap which we decided to attempt to fill. We felt very strongly about this, and the conversation then led us on to the subject of how vulcanised shoes had influenced various different sub-cultures over the decades, and what an important role it can still have. We then found out that we had links to the original Stepney Workers Sports Club, an antifascist, anti-war sports club born in the 20’s…  their values and beliefs felt relevant again today… And this is where S.W.C was born.

 Tan and black Stepney Workers Club trainer

The Dellow style is already becoming an iconic shoe shape and one that easily recognised as S.W.C. How long did it take you guys to come up with the shape?

SS: After taking inspiration from the vintage sneaker, we then tweaked and played around with the proportions/patterns to sit in line with our vision. We then added many details which were very carefully considered, along with some hidden comfort elements which we felt were important. It was then a lengthy process to get everything right with the factory, but eventually it all came together.

 Close up of Dellow Stepney Workers Club trainer

We at Copperfield have a thing for a good simple vulcanised sneaker and yours ticked all the boxes on first viewing. In a world where the sportswear giants are dropping new hyped styles every week do you feel that there’s something to be said in keeping in simple?

The sneaker market has reached new levels, although it’s very exciting to see how it’s influencing the fashion game, we felt that considered simplicity (not minimalism) was required.  Along with this simplicity we also wanted to create a brand with a strong voice and message... Something people could relate to and become a part of.

 White Stepney Workers Club trainers

You guys went straight in at the deep end showing your first ever collection at Paris fashion week. The gamble paid off, could you foresee the gap in the market for your product and brand?

We went to Paris confident in what we had put together, but not knowing how people would react to the brand. Especially in a particularly volatile market where it’s becoming harder for new brands to get in front of the right buyers. Fortunately with some great support from Greg (DMSR) who believed in us, we came back buzzing and excited for the future of the brand.

Black Stepney Workers Club trainers worn by a man

Would I be right is saying that you like to use nostalgic sporting imagery as your media and take colour accents from these to inspire your collections colour pallets? Where do you find these images and where else do you take your inspiration from?

Our inspiration comes mostly from the social element of amateur sport in the UK throughout the 80’s, 90’s. Beyond this, how these sports can bring together such a varied crowd - we’re also inspired by our everyday surroundings… we like to document (mostly on film) …whether it be social scrawl or London’s ever-changing environment.


Brilliant, thanks for your time, Simon. We will see you in Paris in January and are looking forward to seeing what’s next from S.W.C.


You can shop our S.W.C collection here
Images by S.W.C and Guy Miller
All words by Jack at Copperfield and Simon See