Steve: Driver menswear
Steve is the owner of Driver, a true independent Mens wear shop in Northampton. I am an avid sneaker collector and Driver has been the go-to shop for clothing and trainers in Northampton since the late 80’s. Driver is more than just a clothes shop to me and for many others like me, it’s a place to hang out, chat and browse the shelves for the freshest new threads. Steve always finds time to stop and see how you are, you can walk in there at 10am and leave a 2pm without buying a thing.
Steve came to the UK from Trinidad with his mum when he was 3 years old. They settled in Northampton and have lived here ever since. Steve opened the doors to Driver back in 1987 with business partner Tony with a loan from the Prince’s Trust for £2000. They started by selling Vintage clothing with brands such as Ralph Lauren, Levis and Brooks, Steve was a Soul Boy back then and was always at the forefront of the latest fashions. As the years and fashions changed they moved with the times and now are a primary stockist for Stussy, Carhartt and Adidas to name a few.
Although Driver has been in business for over three decades Steve has come to a crossroads in his life. With the rise of the internet and the recession in full swing Steve struggled to keep afloat, people weren't spending money on non essential items and the large online stores were selling the same product but at much cheaper rates. This, along with the illness of his business partner forced Steve to re-mortgage his house over and over again to keep the shop open for his very loyal customers. Things are now beginning to pick up, Steve says, “people miss the real shopping experience” but he's unsure if he can compete with the online stores and is contemplating selling up. Whatever he decides to do Driver and Steve are a big part of the community I live in and will always remain the number one clothes shop in Northampton
These photographs have been taken from my Place Where We Dwell project. You can see all the images from that project here