Lucy Wood Fashion Editor Beth Swade Underground

Beth Swade, 27, Senior Designer at Underground

“I studied fashion at Kingston uni, and have been in the footwear industry designing for the last six years. I’ve always been someone who draws and loves making things, and knew that I needed to work in a creative job. Working for various brands, I’ve picked up a lot from other designers and from factories, watching shoes getting made.”

“The first Underground shoe was created in 1987, and the brand was international within 3 years, selling in 40 countries. Creepers have been around since wartime, and there are some aspects that remain constant such as the corrugated sole, D Rings, and the front apron. Underground creepers are forever updated with new materials, finishes and sole heights.”

“My friends and people around me are always showing me new things that inspire me. Just watching people in London can spark off loads of ideas. From NW1 to E8 to SW3, you see some amazingly dressed people if you look in the right places. I love Liberty, I find just being in that building is quite inspiring! Dover Street Market is continually amazing and fresh. Further afield, it’s Tokyo and Seoul but it’s important to go to lots of different places to gather things from all over.”

“The key to pulling off creepers? Be yourself, don’t follow a tribe. The Underground customer is a single minded individual who is not scared to be themselves – whoever and whatever that may be. If you’re true to your style then you can rock creepers with whatever you like. I have seen more and more girls wearing them with vintage summer dresses which softens them and makes them more feminine. They feel like a natural fit with this seasons cut off denim shorts too.”

“For autumn/winter 2012 we will see more pointed toes within footwear and rich, warm colour palettes topped with lots of interesting metallic finishings. Going forward, Underground will be reinterpreting some of the classics from the back catalogue. There’s some clothing collaborations, jewellery and some other products under are Never Known initiative.”