INVESTING IN QUALITY
30TH ANNIVERSARY SERIES
Founded in 1866 by William Green, Grenson celebrates over 150 years of craftsmanship and design innovation. Each shoe is made with Goodyear welted production at the heart of the Grenson business, this time honoured technique makes the shoe more robust, longer wearing, and reparable without the shoe losing its shape. The proudly ‘Made In UK’ label has been manufactured in the same factory for over 100 years. Known as one of the first footwear brand names to be registered in the UK, its legacy spans generations and continues to produce the highest quality footwear guaranteed to last a lifetime.
GP: When was the brand founded?
TL: Grenson began life in Northamptonshire in 1866 as “William Green and Son” and changed to the shortened version “Grenson” just before 1900. The Green family owned the business until the early 1980’s.
Why did you start designing footwear?
I was in advertising, running the adidas account around the world. I loved the innovation and creativity of the sports shoe industry and didn’t understand why mens dress shoes didn’t have any of this, so I decided in 1996 to have a go at designing a small collection.
"I think quality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.”
What’s your favourite part of the design process?
That’s an easy one, its when I see the first prototype. Suddenly the shoe comes alive and I know instantly whether its going to work as a style. Up until that point its just an idea.
How do you define quality?
I think quality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. The same shoe to two different people is judged differently. Ultimately though quality can be defined by how long it lasts and that is generally a function of the craftsmanship and materials used.
What is special about the production of your brand?
The majority of our shoes are made by the traditional shoemaking method called “Goodyear Welted”. It’s an in depth process that isn’t cheap to make but it means the shoes get better the more you wear them, like a pair of selvedge jeans.
Who is your favourite author or musician?
Wow that’s difficult. I'm a huge music fan but narrowing down is very difficult. It's between John Lee Hooker, Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra. I’ll go for John Lee Hooker because I once made him a pair of shoes.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
Music is huge for me, I listen to something every day and often for several hours. When I discovered Spotify it transformed my listening because once you’ve paid your subscription, you can listen to anything in the world. I play a song I like and then click “Radio” so that it suggests other songs like that one.