Without coming over too Charles Dickens, Indi’s most recent addition, Nicholas Deakins, is a real “Tale of Two Cities”
Deakins founder, Craig Nicholas Tate, honed his craft during his fashion and textile studies in The Big Smoke. However, the allure of England’s capital, London, could not keep the Nicholas Deakins brand from its legitimate home. The bass of the nightclubs purred, as the brand began life with its rightful partner, Leeds. A city of classical grandeur, you only have to look at Nicholas Deakins logo to realise their affinity. Deakins has embraced Yorkshire’s majestic white rose, as its own symbol, as if bound by flesh and blood.
In an industry that is often construed as pretentious there is something of an honest simplicity about Nicholas Deakins. Interestingly, the company was started (in Tate’s own words) “from a need to get into the clubs that didn’t allow trainers”. These were the greats of the early 90’s Northern clubbing scene; such as Manchester’s Hacienda and Leeds’ Back2Basics, to name but two. Even to this day, Tate remains close friends with Dave Beer, Back2Basics’ notorious promoter. The shoes Deakins created at this time, were something never seen before. Traversing the line between smart and casual became Deakins signature; you only had to look at the feet on those football terraces to realise their loyal following and the stir they had caused.
Not just concerned with the way the shoes looked, Deakins also prides itself on their quality. From the beginning, only the best would do; the original “7349” boots were handmade in Northampton, the shoemaking capital of the U.K, if not the World. (Their manufacturer, W.J. Brookes, would actually go on to become the subject of the feature film and Broadway musical, Kinky Boots.) These were then handed over to friends for the ultimate stamp of approval, an evening out in a Northern nightclub.
As the parties grew, so did Nicholas Deakins; eventually coming to operate at its present day capacity. Nowadays the company operates four lines; including clothing, kids and their all-important heritage range. For such an innovative company, the progression into clothing was a natural step. As a muse, Tate takes inspiration from his own personal style icon, Steve McQueen, who as the undisputed king-of-cool, is the perfect match for the minimalist trends of the 1990’s. You only have to take a look at their parkas; now who wouldn’t want a piece of that!
by Phillip Tunstall