Grenson men’s lab at Liberty
English shoemaker Grenson has brought it’s ‘Lab’,complete with white-coated assistants, to the men’s shoe department at Liberty, in response to demand following the highly acclaimed shoe-design lab for women at the department store last year. If any further proof were needed that the appetite for men’s shoes has already caught up with women’s (I for one don’t need convincing) this might be it.
Displayed across a suitably stark white counter, the Lab lets you choose from soles, laces, eyelets and of course, the leathers for your dream shoes. While there’s the freedom to make a self-identifed pig’s ear of it should you wish, classy examples are on display to guide your eye towards wise combinations and luxurious pairings (I have my eye on the black leather and suede brogues with chunky black soles they had on display) and the helpful assistants are at hand to guide you through your choices.
Manufacture of your hand-made-in-England lovelies (starting from £380) would take 14 weeks, a long time yes, but imagine the anticipation when opening the box containing your design for the first time? Custom made trainers got the ball rolling in the sense of making bespoke accessible, but once you’ve got access to the fine materials and techniques within the heritage of a fine shoemaker why not design yourself a longer lasting statement of personal style? I loved the childish sense of play handling the swatches and thinking of the endless possible colour contrasts and texture combinations.
But you’ll need to be fast: the G-Lab closes this Sunday (3 November).