London, Jan 16 (ANI): It was once an icon of British footwear. But now sales of brown suede shoes have plummeted to an all time low.
Worn in the 1930s by the likes of the Duke of Windsor and Hollywood great Cary Grant, the suede shoe is now more likely seen on the feet of older generations like Prince Charles and Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke, reports the Scotsman.
"For years, this shoe has represented the sole of the nation," said fashion store Debenhams spokesman Tom Watson.
"All over the world, Britons are still renowned for wearing brown suede shoes with blue shirts. It's as well known as our penchant for afternoon tea, and we want to do all that we can to enable everyone to continue this great tradition," he added.
Actors Grant and Terry Thomas cemented their popularity and sales soared in the 1960s and 70s, with brown suede worn alongside blue blazers, flannels and Pringle jumpers. They were common in golf clubs and among British Army officers.
However, sales began to falter towards the end of the 80s, during Margaret Thatcher's final years in power. They fell still further with Tony Blair's drive towards Cool Britannia in the 1990s.
Debenhams is now taking action to preserve the style for younger generation.
It announced on Saturday that it had asked three of its top designers - Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran and John Rocha - to save the humble suede.
Watson said the Debenhams had asked its designers to 'develop a new approach which incorporates the best of classic style'. (ANI)