The history of Grasshoppers

The history of Grasshoppers

Now in its 150th+ year since it was started by Charles Searle back in 1859 ... Bolton Footwear has ensured that Grasshoppers shoes can stride with purpose and positivity into the 21st Century." Having sold over 20 million shoes to date, Grasshoppers have become a brand South Africans embrace as part of their heritage. Their iconic moccasins create a sense of nostalgia and remain an essential part of sub-cultural fashion today.  

Another style of Grasshoppers that has recently gained popularity amongst millennials, apart from the already distinguished Tornado style that many youths identify as being a staple (must-have) back in High School because of its comfort and longevity is the Stitch-down (Vellies). These handcrafted shoes, which usually come in suede or leather, paired with a crepe rubber sole has made its way into mainstream fashion and become a go-to for metro men and women, who appreciate the shoes for its retro character. 

Grasshoppers have not only translated what it means to be South African through their footwear but have also created thousands of jobs for local craftsmen, “some of whom are third generation artisans living in the Great Brak and surrounding Southern Cape area. It’s a brand that transcends, age, social and economic divides and it is a 100% proudly local, quality product”, says Head of Group Marketing, Stuart Hopwood.

If your choose of footwear were an extension of your personality, then they are a symbol of freedom, indviduality, style, creativity, and a reminder that laughter, sadness, and heartbreak are lessons of the teacher of life.

In a hype charged age, that we currently find ourselves in - there are a very few brands that have stood the test of time. It is important to not only send a message, but to also be able to act in a way which speaks volumes beyond the realms of sound.

Partnering with Grasshoppers as our first footwear collaboration is of great importance, as it is a strong representative of our ethos, it helps us carry our message to have a postive impact to the youth. Grasshoppers is a brand that impact goes way beyond the need for superficial acceptance and is a strong symbol of pride in our roots.

The Grade Africa x Grasshoppers collaboration will be available in limited quantities at Capsule Fest, this Saturday (26.10.19), and a wider release at Grade Africa and online at on the 2nd of November.

Grade Africa, in collaboration with Grasshoppers, are dedicated to reminding you that your choose of footwear, are an extension of that local aesthetic by incorporating African prints into the design of the original tornado style shoe. This collab not only aims at promoting local prints but serves as a reminder of the strong heritage background both Grade Africa and Grasshoppers have with South African culture.

“It is imperative that African brands take ownership of the African story, craftsmanship, artistry and expertise.” says Zaid Osman, Founder of Grade Africa.