Baartmans and Siegel x Grenson Brogue
On the 28th January 2010, during an evening packed with emerging design talent at the LCF MA showing in the ornate surroundings Raphael Hall at the V&A, I caught sight of a very special brogue indeed. Wouter Baartmans' Great Depression era inspired heady mix of tailoring, sportswear and fur was one of the real highlights from the class of 2010 and it introduced me to my dream footwear. The combination of leather and suede that strode past left me reaching, longingly from my seat. But they passed me by. A few months later and I encountered them for the second time during Amber Siegel's Oil Slick Birds inspired exploration of tailoring and texture in the LCF BA show. I fell for their charms all over again. Like all crushes, I needed to know more about them.
These beautiful brogues were indeed a collaboration between the two talented LCF graduates and long standing British shoe maker, Grenson. A wonderful combination of craft, tradition and innovation. With a history spanning more than one hundred and forty years you would forgive Grenson for resting on its Goodyear Welted soles. However, when compared to other classic English shoe makers, they been making the most positive and interesting moves in recent years. These brogues are certainly one of the finest examples.
During a Baartmans&Siegel studio visit, I slipped my eager feet in to the suede tipped brogues. Words are not able to describe how good they felt and looked at this time. Reluctantly, I returned my treated feet to their now insignificant, hollow leather home. And that was that for a number of months. On occasion, I thought I had seen them from across the street, attached to a passing stranger or behind the window front of a store where my eyes would light up shortly before the realisation of my mistake would surface. All other similar shoes paled in comparison. Oh the heartache.
Fast forward to this weekend and I received a very special treat from the design duo. My very own pair. Wow. As Gabrielle once sang, "Dreeeams can come true." Well, it didn't take me too long before my excited feet forced themselves in to their new favourite home.
For those of you who, like me, fell head over goodyear welted heels for the fruits of this Baartmans&Siegel collaboration, you'll be pleased to hear that a range will be released for SS12.