sounds reasonable, will have to look into that!
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The Ultimate Vass (Footwear) Thread (Pictures, reviews, sizing, etc...) - Page 386post #5776 of 197192/25/13 at 7:22ampost #5777 of 197192/25/13 at 9:04amQuote:Originally Posted by Tombrone
The changes that Vass is currently looking to make would be in last and model design. At the moment they have several lasts, bout 3 of them being very popular for international buyers (U, F and PS, but also 3636 they told me). However, there is a huge difference between the U last and the rest, and they were thinking of designing a last somewhere in the middle of the U and F, somewhere between JL 7000 and 8000 last (although I have no personal experience with these two, but looking at pictures I hope you can understand what I’m trying to say).
This would be a good idea, a the U Last is a great last, and rounded toe version of it would fill in the gap imo between the U and F last. The k last seems redundant, like a too pointy u last. Their boot options could benefit from a chelsea model, as well as a jodhpur. And lastly, though not that big a deal, the edge dressing could be varied a bit. They seem use edge dressing that makes the sole one solid color be it black, or brown, and some styles would look better imo with the edge dressing that allows you to still the variation from one layer to next on the heels. I hope I explained that last part correctly. Actually is this something that they offer because I have not seen a pair that wasn't how I described with the solid color edge dressing. It makes all the shoes look very conservative, and at times boring.post #5778 of 197192/25/13 at 11:55ampost #5779 of 197192/25/13 at 12:38pmQuote:Originally Posted by chogall
Vass is fine where they are. They just need better sales operations as suggested by proxies that monetize Vass' direct sales inefficiencies.
They don't need more lasts. They don't need more styles. Pointless to convert or a top notch hand crafting company into a much lesser RTW operation like EG or G&G. Vass needs to stay Vass and not another EG offspring like G&G or a G&G offspring like AS Handgrade.
well put.post #5780 of 197192/25/13 at 1:14pmQuote:Originally Posted by Tombrone
I think I’m able to answer on most that has been said here, or at least I’ll give it a try.
The changes that Vass is currently looking to make would be in last and model design. At the moment they have several lasts, bout 3 of them being very popular for international buyers (U, F and PS, but also 3636 they told me). However, there is a huge difference between the U last and the rest, and they were thinking of designing a last somewhere in the middle of the U and F, somewhere between JL 7000 and 8000 last (although I have no personal experience with these two, but looking at pictures I hope you can understand what I’m trying to say). Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)This change would not effect total demand to such extent that they would face production problems or that they would have to increase prices. They increased prices about a year ago, and I don’t believe they have immediate plans for this now (except for the cordovan shoes, but that is because Horween increased their price).
I personally agree with the creation of a better/new site, where customers can find more information about MTO shoes. This would facilitate the work of Rezso (the sales manager) immensely. I will certainly pitch this idea to them.
At the moment, they have a limited workshop with only a small number of skilled cobblers, and are only able to produce somewhere under 3000 pair per year. I know they have plans to expand, but like most things in Hungary, it will indeed need to go slow. That is why we are not talking about opening a new store within the next few months, but rather in about 5 years or more. They recently opened a new store in Budapest and I know that they do not have plans to open a new one anytime soon.
But any brand is always looking to grow. It is not true that growth automatically means increases prices. Prices will always increase over the years, but
I think the main question would be: “The Vass brand is trying to grow, slowly but steadily, and why not grow in the direction their customers would want (in terms of offered styles, lasts..)?”.
They need a C last to sit between their F, U, K last.
That being said, F and U last are successful not because of StyFo but because its under Uglioli name and exports to Japan. So now, are they planning to design a last on their own that imitates the French/Italian shapes or are they going to go the Uglioli route again to at least guarantee some orders from Japan?
Pattern wise, Vass is fine where they are. Operationally, Vass is fine where they are at the OEM/volume and retail market. On e-commerce side, they have much to work on in refining the shopping experience that is currently perfected by proxies. It would be a tragedy and mistake to have price gougers involved.
EDIT: removed the names to avoid drone attacks.
Edited by chogall - 2/25/13 at 3:25pmpost #5781 of 197192/25/13 at 1:35pmQuote:Originally Posted by archangle13
A last between the U and F is definitely needed. The U is one of the most problematic chiseled-toe lasts in terms of fit (high instep, tight toe box), while the F seems to be quite the opposite in terms of fit and toe style.
Is it possible for Vass to show some preliminary pictures of how this new U-F last hybrid will look like?
I spoke to Razor, and suggest they call their new last: "U2"
Will be posting my boots once my DSLR arrives...post #5782 of 197192/25/13 at 1:37pmpost #5783 of 197192/25/13 at 2:06pmpost #5784 of 197192/25/13 at 2:53pmQuote:
It seems unnecessary to call them gougers when they are simply running businesses.
Yes, if you compare the price of a Carmina makeup from Epaulet (my frame of reference) and something similar from Carmina's Web shop, there's clearly a margin built in for Mike's time and effort and profit. Perfectly reasonable, as long as the price suits the buyer. And frankly, I don't even think it's that large a margin, once you take all costs of ordering yourself into consideration and include the fact that Carmina adds a 50% markup to MTOs now. Whether Carmina's prices are fair for the product is beyond my judgement, except to say that I own their shoes and boots.
A related point is that we as individual buyers and, I assume, proxies as small operators have the chance, whether through luck or otherwise, to minimize duty, taxes, and brokerage fees. All of these are a legal necessity for a business importer such as Epaulet. I'm not arguing that any of these additional costs are fair, necessary, etc., but they are the legal status quo.
I'm going to guess that the SF members who proxy Vass are including some margin in their pricing to cover costs and beyond as well. Again, perfectly fair and the customer will decide if their services are valuable at the price quoted.
Anyway, I'm pretty happy with my first and so far only buying experience from Vass and I am looking forward to a second purchase. For the moment, my interest is in the more traditional lasts and the array of choices seems far more than enough to keep me occupied for a while.
Finally, I agree that there should be payment methods beyond wire transfer. It's not the worst way to pay, and the appeal will depend on how pricing might change so that Vass would cover its fees associated with accepting credit cards or PayPal. But I do think the prospect of having to initiate a wire transfer is a step that will prevent at least some potential buyers from following through.post #5785 of 197192/25/13 at 3:19pmThe gouging comment seems grossly unfair to me. Nobody is forced to buy from a proxy seller. You don't like the price? Move on. Buy direct from Vass or shop another brand. You have choices. Obviously there are enough buyers willing to pay a premium for immediate delivery of an in-stock, ready-to-ship item, with quick and convenient payment options. Nobody is getting gouged.post #5786 of 197192/25/13 at 4:15pmQuote:Originally Posted by Fiddler
The good thing about Vass is that they are totally flexible with make-ups. You can send them a bunch of pictures and they will make the design to the best of their abilities. And they don't charge MTO surcharge. We don't need a costly retailer with a singleminded focus on profit margins to come into the picture and screw it up for us. You just pick up the phone and telephone Razor and run your make-up by him. He will tell you if they can or can't do it. If it's weird or will look awful he'll tell you that as well. In short, who needs Le-who and epaulet when we've got Razor.
(PS. Ive been following the Carmina prices on the epaulet thread and they are just outrageous....but good for them.)
I agree with you. I'm ambivalent. I have a pair coming from Thom (the starter of this discussion). Perhaps I'll try Razor next (I have a suede boot in mind).post #5787 of 197192/25/13 at 4:18pmQuote:
Frank, don't sell yourself short. Carmina, at Alden prices, are fair. At 20-30% higher, are priced high for a comparable (dare I say it - inferior at times) product.
Vass at the same price (even less expensive) is a no-brainer.
Vass could attempt to source some different leathers, though.post #5788 of 197192/25/13 at 4:48pmWell a good portion of the value in both Vass and Carmina, to me, is that they are very customer oriented. Vass more so it seems, and at a very good price for an excellent product. That combination of quality, service, and price is what attracts me to the brand. Oh and I think the shoes are beautiful, as well.post #5789 of 197192/25/13 at 6:00pmQuote:Quote:Originally Posted by Ilovelobbs
Totally agree - I just ordered 2 pairs of MTO direct from them.
After a few emails to clarify my size, colour; style and sole requirement Razor
was ready to accept my order. What also helped was my experience with Lobbs
and EG shoes. I told him my size and last on those makes, an this bought the
margin of error down to possibly 5%.
Who's Razor and what's his contact information? And was the €95 shipping for one pair of shoes?post #5790 of 197192/25/13 at 6:14pm
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