IDYSM: So, what is Sock Club London?
SCL: Sock Club London is a members club, founded by Member 001 and Member 002; that sets out to promote and champion men’s hosiery and all associated style related items. Sounds a bit highbrow, and we do take it seriously. But, at the same time we also want to inject a bit of British humor into what we do; after all life should be fun to. Which is why we have our company slogan ‘No Apologies, No Regrets’. We use this slogan to showcase that we’re willing to try things, put ourselves out there, make mistakes and learn from them.
We have a London home but a Global reach. We write about and post on our blog and instagram things that we are interested in, and also that we think our members would like to be informed about and would enjoy reading and contributing to. Additionally, we also work with companies and brands to bring out collaborative product; as can be seen with our recent and first release, Made In England. Where we designed and produced socks with Pantherella, an umbrella with Fox Umbrellas, and a much talked about sock case with Globe-Trotter Luggage.
We only launched both our membership program and our Made In England product range in September of this year. It’s very early days, but so far the response has been great and really positive.
IDYSM: The collective is shrouded in secrecy with member’s not known by their names, but instead only by their Sock Club membership numbers…why the mystery?
SCL: Ha! Shrouded in secrecy, love that quote. Can we borrow it for future use? Well, we never set out to be an underground society of sock followers but I guess it has evolved that way. We liked the idea of a Club. Not the London Gentlemens clubs of old, but a more modern take. We liked the idea of something that people could belong to, feel part of and also contribute to. So when we brought out membership cards we wanted to make them special, personal and individual to each member. We have an individual number scheme where members can identify themselves to each other. No real mystery, just a sense of belonging and being part of something. An individual, in a collective with like minded people.
IDYSM: I saw you guys on Instagram, how and why are you choosing to build up the brand’s profile on there?
SCL: Before Sock Club London was formed we used Instagram for our personal use. Posting pictures of what we liked and were into. A lot of these were style based product shots, with a strong focus on sneakers; and naturally of also the socks we were wearing. We started tagging our images with #sockclub and #sockclublondon. We had a great many comments asking about Sock Club London, and how people could join. So we thought we better actually do something, form the Club and take it to the next level! So you can say that Instagram chose us, rather than the other way round. Since then we have also started our Blog on our website, as an additional way to communicate and raise awareness of what we are doing. We have a loyal following of both members and non members on Instagram. And we really like the way that people can comment on the images that we are posting, and contribute to the Club. We remain big fans of Instagram, it’s quick, easy to use and accessible; we will continue to have a presence on Instagram.
IDYSM: I’m liking the naming, shaming and fining of kick’s wearers who go sock-less. Why is this such a crime for you at Sock Club London?
SCL: Socks are a serious business. Guys spend a lot of time and focus on how they look and what they are wearing. We believe it is ours, and our members, civic duty to show support and offer advice. Invisible socks are fine, and necessary in warmer climates and summer seasons. But sock less, this is taking it too far. Serious or fun choices, they’re all good, but the first choice of a morning is what socks to wear. We will continue to police this, our reach is far we have members everywhere, if you go sock less we will find you. The first rule of sock club must be adhered to, No Apologies, No Regrets!
IDYSM: Fish and Chips, Salt and Pepa, Socks and Sneakers; we’re talking about an iconic pairing here aren’t we?
SCL: Absolutely, sneakers have for many decades now been a focus for a guys wardrobe. Often the first choice for the days outfit. Naturally if you’re going to have this focus then you have to ensure that your sock choice is on par with your footwear. The best sneakers out there can be ruined with a poor sock pairing.
IDYSM: Just how much can socks enhance someone’s look?
SCL: It’s make or break time with your choice of sock. Socks complete an outfit. Whether it’s a way to tie it in all together with fabric, color or pattern choice that completes or complements your look. Or alternatively to stand out by choosing socks as the clashing element of the outfit, and make them the attention and the focal point.
IDYSM: What do someone’s socks say about them?
SCL: It all depends on the specific sock choice, and how it fits with their outfit on that specific occasion. Rather than the actual individual choice of which sock to wear we would say that as long as their socks are a considered part of the whole, then this speaks volumes. And shows someone who has a clear sense of their own style, can put a look together and is above all concerned about how they present themselves.
IDYSM: Why have socks become such a hot fashion item lately?
SCL: Socks have perhaps in the past been seen as a commodity purchase rather than a considered purchase. Trends such as pin rolling of jeans and pants has highlighted attention on the ankle area once again. From this guys are much more considered in their sock choice and have re-appraised how they look at this essential part of their wardrobe. They have found or re-found great heritage brands such as Pantherella from England, Corgi from Wales and Burlington from Germany. And tapping into this trend their have been a tremendous amount of really good new brands that have entered the market over the last ten years. Ayame, Anonymous Ism and the fantastic Chup Brand by Glen Clyde; all from Japan. Stance from the US. Happy Socks from Sweden and Democratique Socks from Denmark. To name just a few of the great brands that are in the market now; and making exciting new product. Guys have so much better choice now and are willing to spend on good quality socks more so than in the recent past.
IDYSM: What does the future hold for Sock Club London?
SCL: We have so many plans and ideas, it’s tough to get us to focus as we’re having such fun on the start of our journey and have a lot of interest and requests coming our way. We have more projects coming out this year, and we’re working on projects for all of next year to. Both product and non product specific.
From a product side we will launch in the upcoming weeks our second release, Made In Japan, which we literally cannot wait for. We’re incredibly proud of being associated with the Brands involved and are really looking forward to showcase these products. Following this we’re working with another British sock manufacturer on something special for Camo Tuesday. Which is our Sock Club London sponsored, call to arms, to promote not just camo socks but also the right to wear camo on a Tuesday. Then next year we have quite some plans, amongst which we’ll definitely be revisiting our homeland for Made In England II.
For non product we’re looking into how we can continue to and further engage with our members. Opportunities from an online perspective, as well as looking at social gatherings. We also want to work harder and look into how we can let our membership have a say in what we are doing; and include them in the decision making process. We’ve already received a lot of great input and advice from our members, and we don’t want to lose sight of that and want to keep reaching out and engaging with them.
IDYSM: What’s on your feet right now?
SCL: Member 001 – A pair of white elk leather G Reservation sneakers by Visvim, and our Sock Club London x Pantherella Made In England SCL2 members only sock. With ‘No Apologies’ embroidered onto the right sock, and ‘No Regrets’ embroidered onto the left sock.
Member 002 – Waxed boot leather AF1’s made on Nike iD, and our Sock Club London x Pantherella Made In England SCL4 orange sock. Embroidered with our SCL circular logo.