Stuarts x Grenson & The Season Ahead : The View From Tim Little
In the build up to the launch of the Stuarts x Grenson 50th anniversary collaboration on the 1st of September we caught up with Grenson owner and Creative director Tim Little to talk about the collaboration and the upcoming trends for AW17.
A midlander who has a weak spot for Scampi and Chips and who is a massive Derby County fan (someone has to be), there are not many people more respected within the industry than the man who managed to make Grenson what is is today after joining in 2005.
SL: A firm favourite worldwide, how did the Stuarts x Grenson collaboration collection come about?
TL: We have been working together for many years now, so when we heard about the Anniversary we were excited to be involved and the perfect way to celebrate is to design some shoes.
SL: How long did the collaboration process take?
TL: I guess about 6 months to a year.
SL: Contemporary, yet traditional, what was the intention behind the designs of all three Stuarts x Grenson models
TL: Using iconic styles but making them in a mix of materials gives the shoes a special, contemporary feel. 90% of the styles come from our history and are made the old fashioned way, but the details and styling give them an edge.
SL: Did you look at archival pieces for inspiration?
TL: Very much so, but our recent archive. Two of our best selling shoes are Archie and Fred who are brothers, (a shoe and boot). Back in 2005, I took the classic Grenson Brogue that we’ve making for 100 years or more and exaggerated everything on it. Bigger eyelets, triple sole, heavy stitching and so on. The result is a proper shoe. We added a double buckle monk as its such an English classic.
SL: You’re well known for attention to detail, how did the designs for this collaboration come about?
TL: The key was to give them a twist without looking like children’s entertainer shoes. So we focussed on combining leathers of similar colours but different textures.
SL: What is the process for designing the shoes?
TL: We start with the last which gives the shoe its shape. Then the upper pattern, then the sole and finally the materials and details such as eyelets and laces.
SL: How did you find designing this particular collaboration compared with your main line, and previous collaborations with the likes of Neighbourhood ?
TL: It’s always a pleasure when you work with a retail partner that you know so well. I live near the store and feel I know a bit about the customer and why they shop at Stuarts. Therefore it makes it interesting to be designing for that person. In many ways, that person is me, which makes it even easier.
SL: What is your favorite piece from the collection and why?
TL: I think Fred as its so much boot for your money. This is as good as it gets in shoemaking.
SL: Stuarts x Grenson Aside, Who would be your dream collaboration with & why?
TL: This one is pretty good for me, however, id love to do a Goodyear Welted Yeezy!!
(Watch This Space…)
Putting all talk of the Stuarts x Grenson collaboration on the back burner, we also managed to squeeze in a few questions about AW17 and what to expect to look out for in the world of footwear over the coming months.
SL: We have recently seen the launch of Grenson’s first sneaker collection with the arrival of “Sneaker 1” is this a sign of things to come from Grenson in the future?
TL: Yes definitely. I love sneakers and when people kept asking for them, I felt I had to do it. We have tried to combine plenty of Grenson DNA with a true sneaker styling.
SL: What Footwear Trends Should We Be Aware Of Throughout AW17?
TL: Big sneakers! Yeezy has started a trend for big soles and I don’t see it stopping. At the sole and leather fair, there were so many versions of it available.