Behind The Brand: CQP Footwear

One of our core values at Trunk is care for how things are made. In every category, the very best products are stylish, thoughtful, and versatile, but they also last, become favourites, and get better with age.

Manufacturing is one of the hardest things for customers to assess: you can’t see how a shoe will break in, or how a trouser will wear, in a fitting room. Details like the sole units on shoes, the canvassing in suits, or even the knitting tension in a sweater, are not only highly technical, they’re also near-invisible to the end user. But over time, these things separate a good garment from a great one.

Today, it’s easy for brands to switch factories, suppliers, and even countries of origin in search of lower costs and higher margins. Corners are cut, materials downgraded, and only later do customers notice that something is missing. This is why we seek out, curate, and celebrate makers that remain committed to materials and manufacturing.

There’s no better example than Swedish sneaker specialists CQP, who recently celebrated their ten-year anniversary with the Trunk team in Stockholm. It’s a great occasion to catch up with brand director Maxim Lundh to talk about making a quality shoe.

CQP Leather Construction

“We have always been obsessed with quality and longevity and believe that the difference is in the details,” Maxim says. “Our materials are sourced from the best suppliers in Europe, ensuring that we work with ethically and responsibly sourced materials.”

A perfect t-shirt or sock can be subtle, but it’s not technical in the same way as footwear. “Compared to other products, shoes consist of a great number of components,” Maxim explains. “Every small part from the sole to the upper, inner lining, laces, and so on has to be a perfect match for the specific shoe we are designing. We spend a lot of time on each aspect.” The result is a sneaker with the details of a fine dress shoe: hand-finishing, stitching not gluing, and even the metal shank that makes the sole supportive and comfortable.

“We design each product ourselves, from the ground-up in our Stockholm studio. A new model will usually go through countless iterations before it reaches the shelves.” Finished designs also get subtle tweaks and improvements each season, Maxim adds. “It could be anything from adding a thin layer of insulation to a winter boot in order to improve its cold weather credentials, to increasing the durability of some of our unlined products.”

CQP Sneaker Boxes

If internal design details aren’t immediately obvious in a finished product, manufacturing quality is even harder to discern. Even disregarding the way in which certain brands import almost- finished goods to Italy or the UK for some trivial finishing in order to obfuscate their origins, the place of manufacture doesn’t tell you that much. The best sign is when a brand talks openly about where and how their products are made, and maintains those relationships, year after year.

“After having tested numerous different factories in both Italy and Portugal, we have learnt that the differences between factories in the same country or area can be vast. Since quite early on, we have worked with the same production facility outside of Porto in Portugal, with whom we have a very close relationship. Approximately 80-percent of our production is finished by hand and the craftsmen working on our products are truly world class.”

While fast fashion examples of the luxury sneaker have come and gone, CQP’s ‘slow design’ philosophy has endured over the decade. “We have gone through both great and turbulent times, survived through a pandemic, rebranded ourselves recently, and changed our product portfolio many times over,” Maxim says. “But we have stayed true to our values of quality and longevity, with a singular focus on our products and brand.”

Trunk was CQP’s first wholesale customer and remains proud to offer the brand’s outstanding sneakers today. This season Trunk presents the Debonair, an ultra-comfortable slip-on in high quality reverse suede, perfect for the summer months, alongside the classic low-top Racquet tennis shoe and the versatile Roamer in a range of subtle suedes and calf leather.

Shop the CQP collection here.

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