An Interview with Adam Lewenhaupt of CQP
Adam Lewenhaupt of Swedish trainer brand CQP recently popped by the shop, to give us more of an insight into his exceptional products. We took the opportunity to sit down with him and ask a few questions about his creative process, his personal style and his favourite Stockholm haunts.
Tell us a bit about what you do.
I am the founder, CEO and creative director of CQP.
How did you conceive of the idea of starting your own footwear brand?
I used to work in finance and knew for quite a while it wasn’t what I wanted to spend my life doing. What gave me the courage to start something new was probably mostly seeing other entrepreneurs working passionately with something they believe in. When it comes to creative inspiration, it is more mixed and what I do is the result of multiple impressions from all sorts of areas.
Where is home for you? Tell us about some of your favourite spots there.
Stockholm is what I call home at the moment and this is where I have most of my family and friends. Having lived and worked in London, I feel quite at home there as well. But, if you pass by Stockholm, try and visit Restaurant Babette for dinner, head to Millesgården to watch art in a beautiful setting, grab a world-class hot dog (by chef Magnus Nilsson from Fäviken) at Korvkiosk on Södermalm, take a stroll around Djurgården and spend your nights at Hotel Ett Hem. And of course, come visit the CQP Boutique.
What’s the philosophy behind your brand?
CQP has been built on a few basic ideas; to create world class products, to never compromise on quality and materials, and to create products with an individual identity despite very limited branding. Ultimately, I want CQP to be seen as a brand that proves itself over time through consistently delivering these qualities and that we manage to translate these ambitions into products other than sneakers.
What makes your products unique?
First of all, the silhouettes and colourways. Secondly, the bespoke feel and almost complete lack of visible branding. Last but not least, the construction, where we use a metal shank in the sole for example, that adds a lot to the comfort compared to most other flat-soled sneakers.
Where do you draw inspiration from each season?
I always try to travel to new places to see, discover and learn new things. I read a lot of different things, generally not focused on fashion, and try to keep a close eye on the art world. All these things combined tend to give me new ideas.
What are you working on currently, and when can we see it?
We have a number of new styles in various stages of development. As always, we want to make sure we are 100% happy with a new product before we release it and if we are not, we do some more work or perhaps move on. I hope we will be able to bring out something in late spring 2017, perhaps exclusive to Trunk!
Can you tell us a bit about your approach to style?
Style to me is about fit, balance (not too dressed up, or too dressed down) and finding an individual expression. I rarely wear suits anymore for work, but try to be casual in an elegant way. It’s important to me to feel natural and confident, and it shouldn’t look like I planned it.
Talk us through what you are wearing mostly at the moment.
Denim is a centerpiece of my wardrobe these days and for winter I wear a lot of cashmere and merino sweaters. I’m a bit obsessed with turtlenecks at the moment, and overshirts. My go to brands are Aspesi, APC and COS, and I really like Barena.
What items do you never leave home without?
My iPhone, a notebook and pen, wallet and keys, although I tend to forget at least something everyday.
What is your favourite book, and what are you currently reading?
Probably A Moveable Feast by Hemingway. I’m currently reading A Spy Among Friends about Kim Philby, the double agent.
What is your approach to travel?
I love travelling and always try to do what the locals do in the places I go. Even short trips are worth the effort.
Some travel items you never take off without?
More or less the same as the items I never leave the house without, plus a good book and a real camera. I dislike when there is in-flight internet, as I really enjoy some offline reading and thinking.
Tell us a bit about your most recent trip.
It was actually in London for work and a weekend with the family. London is such an inspiring place to visit because there is always lots of energy, a great mix of people from different cultures, new restaurants to visit, exhibits, shops and more. This always gives me a lot of energy and stimulates me to want to do more and better.
Where would you like to visit next?
We just had 50cm of snow in Stockholm, and I can't really decide if it makes me want to travel to some picturesque ski resort in the Alps, or if I should instead abandon snow altogether and find some sun. Why not Barcelona for the weather and architecture?