Few brands have perfected their craft, but when they occasionally do, we like to give them credit. Despite only being founded in 2013, CQP is one such brand, and in that short space of time it’s perfected the art of the minimal sneaker.
Helmed by founder and creative director Adam Lewenhaupt, CQP has gone from strength to strength since 2013, expanding its range from a simple white sneaker to include slip-on styles and ‘quarter top’ sneakers crafted from the finest suedes and leather available.
We caught up with Adam to discuss all things CQP, as well as to gain insight into how the brand is navigating through tricky times.
What were your goals when you originally started CQP?
CQP has always been about following a passion I had on the one hand, but also about building a sustainable and perhaps a bit different kind of brand. The goal was to create products we felt we wanted to wear, but perhaps couldn’t find, and to improve on what was already out there, always in our own way and with integrity and very little compromise.
How has your approach to design changed since you first started out?
I am not a designer by training, but always enjoyed drawing, so I am self taught. As such my approach to design is maybe a bit different, and my ideas often come to me in very irregular ways. That is still the case, and then I sit down and sketch stuff out.
Do you have any design inspirations outside of the clothing industry?
I would say [my design inspirations are] probably mostly outside the clothing industry. I look at architecture, furniture, car design and always obsess about proportions and balance.
What’s your one key tip to successfully work from home?
To be honest I find it very difficult, but I try to make it as similar as possible to being in the office. So I always get fully dressed; I wear shoes of course and I try to keep things tidy around me, otherwise I find it difficult to focus. I believe there is a risk for gradual decay unless one tries to maintain certain standards or a certain discipline.
Talk us through your home office set up - what works for you?
I don’t really have a proper office at home and my wife and I take turns in sitting in different places. What follows me around are my iPad and pencil for sketching, my laptop and mostly a notebook. And several cups of espresso. I need to decrease my daily intake.
What are you watching/listening to/enjoying at the minute?
I have been watching The Last Dance on Netflix about the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan - it’s absolutely fantastic and is also a big part of my childhood. I am listening to a lot of classical music at the moment as well, like Debussy and Händel, which is great to get in a relaxed mood.
How has the current global situation affected your business?
Sadly, very much. Not only through the way we work, but our physical retail sales have naturally been badly hit, both at our own boutique and at our retail partners.
Online is better, but we are still affected by the general mood around the world, which probably has people focusing on their health and livelihoods rather than consuming. We try to take the opportunity to rethink how we do things and come out of this stronger.
Where’s the first place you’ll go once allowed to travel again?
Probably Italy or the south of France. Italy especially has been so badly hit by this pandemic so I very much hope people keep traveling there after this pandemic blows over.
Shop all CQP at OPUMO.