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Brothel creeper

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Brothel creeper

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Creepers or brothel creepers are a type of shoe that gained popularity in the 1950s with the rise of rockabilly and the teddy boy youth culture in the United States and the United Kingdom. They are considered a classic item of 1950's fashion, along with such trends as drainpipe trousers, draped jackets, shoe-string ties, quiff and pompadour haircuts, and velvet or electric blue clothes.

It was originally invented by a company called George Cox and initially marketed under the Hamilton brand name which derived from George (Hamilton) Cox juniors' middle name. The Brothel Creeper was a big hit throughout the 1950s and 1960s and finally went into decline at the end of the decade. It was Malcolm McLaren who gave the shoe a new lease of life in the early 1970s when he began selling the shoes from his Let it Rock shop in London's Kings Road. The shoes were snapped-up by his Teddy Boy clientele and when Malcolm and his partner Vivienne Westwood decided to change the shop and its stock into a more Rocker-oriented fashion, the Brothel Creeper still proved to be popular amongst the customers. Finally it was adopted by the Punk Rockers as part of their Post Modernist attire.

Though creepers are no longer popular in the mainstream, and today are often dismissed as being "campy" or mere "retro nostalgia," they are still often sported by members of the rockabilly, psychobilly, and, to a lesser extent, the punk subculture.

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