Lou-Ann Jordan

Within Our Borders – Meet Sneakers Designers Classix Republic Limited

Classix Republic Limited Logo

American motivational speaker Les Brown once implored his audience: “operate out of your imagination!”

His immensely quotable statement was meant to spur his audience to pursue and achieve their dreams, even if it seemed outside of their reality. Often, it’s easier to believe something can be accomplished when others have gone ahead and done it.

However, there are times when we must create our path. When reality gives us little or no reference, then it’s time for us to operate out of our imagination! The Jessop brothers, Josiah and Judah, lacking local examples, have done just that. Taking a giant leap outside of the “proverbial” box, they have been negotiating a new path within our borders, more specifically, within Trinidad and Tobago. 

Findyello within our borders article with Trinidadian shoe designers Classix Republics image shows founders Josiah and Judah Jessop.
Classix Republic Co-Founders Judah & Josiah Jessop

Designers of active footwear, the brothers launched the new Classix Republic sneakers brand in 2021. The company’s 1976 Republic line shines the spotlight on the twin-island and the Caribbean. The eye-catching sneaker enhances the region’s already notable contributions to the global fashion industry.

Moreover, through their 1976 Republics line, Classix Republic Limited has positioned Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean in a new fashion category—designer footwear. With hard work and indomitable spirit, the Classix Republic label has created a product of remarkable design, quality, and comfort. But, more than trendy footwear, the sneakers also memorialise the region’s key historical events. They began with their homeland, Trinidad and Tobago, to launch their first product.

Yello chatted with the Classix Republic founders about their start and the journey. Read on to learn how the brand innovatively bridges seemingly unrelated gaps by merging style, function and culture.

What prompted your interest in designing active footwear /sneakers?

Our interest, having come from a multicultural and modern society, was prompted by a desire to explore new business ventures to impact the fashion industry locally. The vision for a unique sneaker brand that would penetrate the international market became clear with our passion for fashion and the arts.

What is Classix Republics Limited, and what’s the connection with 3xj Studio Design Company?

Classix Republic Limited is a sneaker company designed to highlight historical milestones of the Caribbean through modern, quality, affordable footwear fashion. We aim to bring awareness to Caribbean history by engraving historical data into the design of all our products.

We maintain a collaborative partnership with 3xjStudio Design, in which our sneaker designs are first constructed on a digital platform. Additionally, 3xjStudio manages our media for our marketing campaigns.

Classix Republic Limited’s first product, 1976 Republics, pays homage to Trinidad & Tobago becoming a republic. Why was that event significant for launching the brand?

That event held significance for our launch because it was a great historical moment. It marked the start of a new era of freedom, as 1976 was the year Trinidad and Tobago became a republic within the Commonwealth. The Republican Constitution provided for a President who is the Head of State and a Commander in Chief of the armed forces. Similarly, the launch of our first sneakers, “1976 Republics”, initiates a new era of sneaker fashion that fuses the region’s history.

Findyello article within our borders with Trinidad Jessop brothers image showing 1976 Republics sneakers by Classix Republic.
Photo courtesy Classix Republic Limited

Please share the design features of the 1976 Republics series.

It was important to us to use quality material. Therefore, it features TPU plastic, air meshing, PU leather and webbing. It’s a sneaker designed for sport and to enhance the Carnival Masqueraders Road experience.

Is there any brand of sneakers that inspired the design of Classix 1976 Republics?

We’re fans of both Nike and Adidas, so some inspiration was drawn from them. We researched several of their products, examining aspects that would synergise with our ideas and stand out as a new brand.   

In what other ways does the brand represent Trinidad and Tobago’s heritage?

The Classix Republic brand represents Trinidad and Tobago in the fashion industry, assuming the role of an ambassador for locals. As a locally produced and internationally recognised sneaker and sportswear brand, it offers them a sense of pride.

Locally, even regionally, sneakers designing is an unconventional profession. What steps did you take to bring your sneakers to market?

We went through five simple steps to reach where we are today.

Step 1. Market research and research related to sneaker and sportswear fashion.

Step 2. Prototyping and comparing features.

Step 3. Finding the right manufacturing company to work with.

Step 4. Developing secure and appealing packaging.

Step 5. Finally, shipping our product to us.

The 1976 Republics – Creed & Race and Morning Blues colourways can easily appeal to men and women, primarily as the former reflects T&T’s national colours. Does the brand cater to women?

Classix Republic is a unisex sportswear brand. The 1976 Republics are for both males and females, young and old.

Findyello article within our borders with Trinidad Jessop brothers image showing 1976 Republics sneakers by Classix Republic.
Photo courtesy Classix Republic Limited

What feeling do you hope to evoke in those wearing Classix Republic Limited’s sport and footwear?

We wish to arouse a sense of comfort and confidence when customers decide to step out in our products.

What advice would you give to aspiring Caribbean entrepreneurs whose interests are also untraditional?

Dream big, plan strategically and be prepared to put in the work!

What can be anticipated from Classix Republic Limited over the next year?

Our customers and followers can look forward to an influx of our designs in local and international markets.

How can Classix 1976 Republics sneakers be accessed?

Customers can access Classix Republic’s 1976 sneakers online on IG and Twitter.

When supported by dedication and planning, imagination always produces something remarkable. It has for the Classix Republic team. We applaud the label for its innovation in merging fashion and history, educating its customers while stylishly cladding them. We look on eagerly as this Trinidad and Tobago sneaker brand continues to make inroads in the international designer footwear industry.


There is much going on within our borders, and we’re excited about discovering and featuring them. Be on the lookout for our next issue of Within our Borders, and if you know someone who’s making waves, be sure to drop us a message on Facebook or IG.