Shaper: Tim Little

Tim Little is the Founder and CEO of classic luxury shoe brand, Tim Little, and the Owner and Creative Director of 150-year-old shoemakers, Grenson.

Having left a career in advertising in 1997 to follow his dream of designing his own ‘English shoes without the cobwebs’ shoe collection, Tim opened his first shop on Kings Road with a small collection and a fledgling bespoke business. In 2005 he was approached by the owner of old Northampton shoemaker, Grenson, to help turn around the struggling brand.

After five years of trying to persuade people that English brogues were cool, Tim took the opportunity to buy the company outright and since then the business has grown three fold and now includes both women’s and accessories.

Follow Tim on Twitter @timlittlecom.

Interview highlights

“I had an initial love of shoes from when I was a child.”

“There is always something round the corner.”

“You need to understand who you are making shoes for.”

“When we design shoes we always have a very acute sense of what Grenson is about and what people like about Grenson.”

“I started in completely the wrong direction.”

“I thought this is it forever, I’ve found my dream job.”

“I walked into a shop in Knightsbridge to buy a pair of shoes and it was the dullest, most appallingly old fashioned experience I’d ever had. It made me think why can’t there be a bit of creativity and interest in design involved in shoemaking?”

“I just drifted on and on, and here I am today.”

“It’s all about keeping what’s good with tradition but updating it and making it relevant.”

“I love to jump around and have different things going on.”

“I’ve got the Founder of Grenson as my screensaver.”

“It is lovely to be there right at the beginning where you sit down with a blank piece of paper and just say ‘let’s do something’.”