September 15 2011
Lucia van der Post
Wintry walks beckon, with autumn leaves rustling underfoot. What fits the look better than some proper brogues? Traditionally the realm of the male wardrobe, brogues have made steady inroads for the past 18 months into the female domain. Chanel’s wonderful autumn collection now makes it seem cooler to wear these sturdy shoes with a little black dress than any stiletto.
Grenson, a wonderful old British brand, mostly known for its men’s shoes, has launched a new collection for women. In 2009 it collaborated with Olivia Morris, a women’s shoe designer, to come up with a single brogue design that was sold through her shop. Now there are lots for women to choose from.
Grenson has taken its classic men’s version, the famous Goodyear welted range, and scaled it to fit a woman’s foot, though with a slimmer profile. The classic model in the range is the Rose, which is unlined, making it soft and light to wear, designed on a single sole and made in fine Alpine grained leather. It comes in tan, brown and black. But there are others to choose from: the Eliza, an updated toecap Oxford, and the Martha (pictured), a slightly more slender version in brown and white calf leather. All are £175.
Meanwhile Tim Little, who bought Grenson last year, has not forgotten the men. He’s collaborated with Barbour to produce a range of country brogues and boots (called Grenson Barbour) that encapsulates something of the DNA of each brand, taking fabrics and colours from Barbour and marrying those with Grenson’s Goodyear welt. The result is some sturdy, fine-looking proper outdoor country shoes. The brogues are £350, and the boots, £375.