Thursday, August 26, 2010

Florsheim Replaced by 1k Sneaker

The SABC never ceases to amaze me. After suspending its CEO, in the past few days, the second one in 12 months, it seems to be on a serious downward spiral. The corporation is marred by financial mismanagement which has led to a serious lack funds. Public distrust, political interference, censorship and, bland programming somewhat. It came as no surprise then that last night on a music show the host quipped, "Florsheim replaced by the thousand rand sneaker."


I think that statement was a reference to the shift that has transpired from the old era to the modern world. The inference was that Florsheim is not worn anymore or, even worse, doesn't exist as a company and shoe brand. In this day and age I know this for a fact: I would definitely spend a thousand rand , budget willing of course, on a pair of Florsheim shoes as opposed to a pair of sneakers for the same amount.


Florsheim has come a long way and is still going strong. Established in 1892 by Milton S. Florsheim and his father Sigmund. Since then the brand has undergone success and challenges. All of this success and challenges culminating in the company being resold in 2002. What cannot be disputed though is Florsheim's longevity and importance to the shoe game.


The reason why the show's host mentioned Florsheim, albeit ignorantly, is the fact that South African musos of old identified with the shoe, its aesthetic, the brand and how it fit into their lifestyles.


Two interesting facts about Florsheim taken from my life: 1. In high school I had a friend who wore a black pair of Florsheim wingtips daily as part of his school uniform. Thinking about it now, he looked fresh in his grey slacks and Florsheim's. 2. At university there was a guy who played for the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg campus, who was known as Flosh. Only in later years did I get to find out that his full name was Florsheim Ngwenya. His daddy must've loved the brand, a lot. Florsheim is now national coach of the South African Men's basketball team.


If anyone knows of Al Green's last album, Lay It Down, being produced by The Roots or of Anita Baker's tentative album having a song featuring Snoop Dogg, that's exactly what Duckie Brown has done with Florsheim. This collaboration is about rejuvenation, longevity and most of all relevance.

Talk about old school touch, a new school feel, with a colourful lift.


PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

5 comments:

spoozyliciouzz said...

Sadly Florsheim nowadays has lost its grip on quality shoe making. They have long been facing problems over the last years and the quality of their craftmanship has declined ever since.

If you want to go for Florsheim, than only select vintage Imperia ones. They´re great, i won a pair myself and will buy some more in the near future.

1000 Rand on sneakers?? Sick world we´re living in...

Mike said...

Sad to say, but Spoozy is right. But nevertheless I bought a nice pair of brown suede wing tips florsheims a few months ago.

Until now there's nothing to complain about. The leather sole is stronger then expected and the shoes feel right on my feet. I can only image how much better the quality was decades ago.

I'd post a picture but I can't find them on florsheim's homepage. Maybe it's because I bought them in Germany?

By the way: Very nich blog!

Mike said...

I mean "nice" blog.
Next time I'll check my comments before I press "enter" :-)

Mxolisi Ngonelo said...

I understood the first time Mike. Thanks for reading.

I guess maybe Florsheim isn't as popular elsewhere in the world as it is in South Africa.

I will make it a point to check out your's.

Cheap Men Suits said...

Love leather shoes, they're like black slim fit suits for me.