Steve has always had both feet in the footwear industry. Years of experience working with lots of brands you’ve heard of has culminated in the creation of Meanforme, a brand-new footwear brand with timeless design sensibilities and a genuine story to tell.
We’ve interviewed Steve for the next issue of Proper (Out September ’23) but for now, here’s a little insight into what inspires him, via a Favourite Five that takes in music, shoes and Portugal. Sounds alright to us.
Check out Meanforme here btw.
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band.
I’ve read this at least four times over the years and it still makes me laugh out loud. I purchased it on my travels in the early 2000’s as I had been told by mates that I would love it, and yes, I did. You cannot believe that stuff like that went on but it did and these guys just didn’t care what people thought of them – they just took it to the max – to a point that they became a living and breathing Spinal Tap. It’s not at all my kind of music, but it’s one of many music books and autobiographies I have read over the years, but this is the daddy of them all. I’ll probably read it again sometime soon.
Nike Air Max 1
Early in 1988 I was working as a junior technician at a shoe factory and my life seemed to be revolving around shoes at work and trainers at the weekend. I used to travel up on the train to Newcastle from Darlington once a month to check out what was new, and I think it was on one of these Saturday afternoons that I first come across the Air Max 1 in Sport Red. I’m pretty certain it would have been in Monument Sports but I cannot be 100% on that. I put them on in the shop and did not take them off for weeks. They were like nothing else I had ever seen or worn before; I wasn’t a big Nike fan but Adi didn’t have anything like this on offer. Sadly, I remember the air bag on the left foot giving out during a 5 aside match a few months later but I carried on wearing them to death. I have owned possibly 20 or more since then in various options over the years and consider them to be my all-time favourite shoe that sits well with pretty much anything.
Vintage electronic – Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, New Order
Music has always played a huge part in my life and it tends to be made by a synth and drum machine. I was very young at the tail end of the 1970’s but still remember the influence of tracks such as Bowie’s Sound and Vision and Gary Numan’s Cars on my musical taste. Punk had been and gone and at the start of the 80’s bands such as Talking Heads and Joy Division were making cool synth driven new wave music that I loved …and still do. Kraftwerk have always been a go-to background kind of band for me with Depeche Mode being the soundtrack to pretty much everything I have done and in the early days of my clubbing the Factory label was putting out some amazing stuff, New Order being some of the best, not too many songs better than ‘Touched by the hand of God’, in my opinion.
Item of clothing
Sunspel navy Riviera T-Shirt
Right up at the top of my wardrobe with a quality pair of jeans for me it has been a decent T-shirt and the Riviera has always been my go-to. It’s just a workhorse of a garment for me that I have been wearing for years and years. Almost all photos of me on holiday, at work or out and about seem to be me wearing one of these. It fits right, looks clean and lasts forever. I could talk forever on the merits or otherwise of an item of footwear but when it comes to clothing nothing seems to beat simple, clean, and functional – Job done.
Foz do Douro
I have had to travel with work for years and years now and not many places have grabbed hold of me and made me want to live there but Foz do Douro did. I have been working in Portugal for years in the footwear making region to the North East of Porto and always try to base myself in Foz if I am working in the region. It’s bang on the Atlantic Ocean (some amazing sunsets) and has buildings dating back 150 years +, and even has a 17th century sea fortress right on it. The locals flock down to the many beaches in the area to hit the beachside cafes and small bars, and after dark it feels like one of the safest places I know. The best thing about this little haven is the fact that for some reason it’s light on the tourist count, I guess they prefer to stay in the big city of Porto rather than to travel half an hour North not discover this gem, long may that continue.
The loneliness of the long-distance runner
Dull as dishwater to some, but a true life-saver to me. Running was something I only took up in my early forties and pulled me through some rough times and more than a few hangovers. If I find any spare time, wherever I am, I will try to get out for an hour or 2. Could not imagine ever going for a run in my 30’s, couldn’t imagine not going for a run in my 50’s.