The Designer’s Guide to Grenson
One of the perks of the blogging life is that we occasionally get to sit down with brilliant designers. Now is one of those times.
The gentleman in question is Tim Little, the Creative Director at Grenson, a mastermind of broguing who happens to have a few exclusive vibram-soled items available exclusively from our friends at UrbanDaddy Perks. We sat down with Mr. Little to talk boots, heritage, and the intersection of British and American workwear.
What’s your philosophy for designing these boots?
We try to take the essence of what the company is—the heritage, the history, everything we’re good at—and make that relevant for today. Everything comes from a very long line of what we¹ve done over the years. We use all the same styling from the past 100 years of Grenson, but we updated it, changed the materials slightly, to bring it up to date.
It feels like the shoes have gotten more and more playful with every season. Do you think it has to do with what’s happening in men’s style these days?
Yeah, I think menswear generally kind of opens up a bit more to experiment and play. As long as we don’t stray too far from it. As long as we stick some of the elements of classic British shoemaking, we can really play around with materials and soles and things, and colors.
Is that what’s going on with the Archie? You’ve built a mashup between a traditional brogue and a vibram sole.
Yeah, it’s literally a shoe in two parts. There¹s the top part, there¹s the sole, and the two things come together to form a hybrid. For the top part, I went through the factory and found any punch holes that we had that we hadn’t used. All the broguing detail was much deeper, much heavier. And the white and brown sole comes from American workwear. So to take the upper, which is English, but put on an American workwear sole worked really nicely. They’re not too distant, in a way. And when it comes together, I just love it.
- — Russell Brandom