Mediahound, this is not news. They freely admit to this manufacturing and have been doing it for a while.
- Wholly made in the DR shoes: the "ae" line
- Uppers made in the DR and the rest of the shoes assembled in the US: Various shoes. They actually move production between the DR and the US depending on needs.
- Wholly made in the US shoes: shell cordovan and possibly the Independence line (not sure about the latter)
They divulge full information and are wholly upfront about this in all their materials. Yes, the shoes say "Made in the USA", but they are allowed to by law. Do a little searching, though, and you'll find plenty of stories and interviews where the CEO is open about this practice.
You can feel free to insist on fully made in the USA, but "disingenuous" is not the right word for what they are doing.
Sounds like you're new to the brand. No problem; but everyone here already knows.
Thanks for the info. Apparently not everyone here already knows this, based on the replies.
And no, AE is not going out of their way to inform potential customers of these facts in any way. Looking at their website, I would even argue they are trying to hide it there.