Funky Socks: The Uptown Origin
Welcome to our story of heroism (not so much), manliness (a little), and subversion of conformity (Check!), set in our own bizarre world of fun socks and daring men’s accessories.
Vision and founding philosophy are probably the most blogged about themes for companies trying to establish their brand. So here goes; at Uptown Sox we have no aspirations toward doing any of the following: Saving the world; Ending global warming; Relieving the downtrodden of the tyranny that they live under; and of course, fighting off the various hordes of Aliens, Zombies, or Hell Spawn that people believe will at some point infest the world. It’s not that we don’t care, the opposite in fact. But, we firmly believe that everyone has their own special talent – ours involves designing awesome funky socks. So, we will leave the (very necessary) heroics to those who are eminently more qualified than ourselves because we know that our positive impact in the world will come through ensuring that the real heroes look sharp as they fight to keep the rest of us from being probed or having our brains eaten.
Now having established our purpose, here is our origin story (sorry but it does not lead to anyone wearing spandex).
About three years ago I was involved in the desperate process of preparing for my upcoming nuptials. Yes, men worry about that too. On the fateful day in question, having saved a kitten stuck in a tree and drawn up a tentative plan for world peace, I was still left with the dire task of finding the right gift for my groomsmen. The dilemma was unscored by the need to somehow coordinate the lads with the ladies. Of course, the ladies were to be decked out in a daring shade somewhat akin to, but not quite, fuchsia (yes, it is a real colour – we checked). At this point, lacking sleep, and perhaps having gone one past my red bull limit, I stumbled into the random shop that would lead to an unprecedented epiphany (yes, that is also a real word). Through the winged caffeine haze my vision began to clear and I found myself confronted with a wondrous sight. Up until this point I knew that men’s accessories came in a variety of colours and combinations: everything from light grey, to dark grey, and even black – this is not counting the heresy of navy or beige. Even so, in front of me were what were surely men’s socks but in colour combinations that no man had ever dreamt. And then, I saw them and I knew that no other gift would suit my groomsmen better than pairs of bright fuchsia socks (and fedoras, but that’s a story for another time).
I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was a common experience among many of my peers. Around me, men from every walk of life – from truck drivers to investment bankers – were actively changing the trends in men’s fashion and attempting, with varying degrees of success, to fight against conformity. Many of us will remember the brief period in the late nineties when loud ties festooned with cartoon characters became acceptable. It was an attempt to market non-conformity while selling consumers the idea that they were somehow lampooning the status quo. The problem is that there is a point at which this weak form of rebellion became a symbol of ultimate conformity. What’s happening now is different. Unlike ties that are necessarily on display for all to see, the beauty of socks lies in the fact that they are generally hidden from view. The only clue that a man is taking a stand against the norms might be a glimpse of colour seen as one strides across the room. And this is why I fell in love with the idea of socks that were not only funky and different, but that even tell their own story. Their hidden nature makes them subtly subversive, a secret shared between friends and co-conspirators while never quite giving away to the casual observer that something is amiss.
As the co-founder of Uptown Sox, I am inviting you to join the conspiracy and break through the barriers that have bound men’s fashion to a state of conformity for far too long.
See our socks HERE!