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Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread - reviews, pictures, sizing, etc... - Page 1259  

post #18871 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmdsimpson View Post


Mediahound, this is not news. They freely admit to this manufacturing and have been doing it for a while.

They have:
- 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.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediahound View Post

 

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. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustygator View Post

 

This is pretty much on the dot. You'll also notice that recently some AE shoes have "Made in the USA of fine imported leather". Example I'm guessing this is a nod to the fact that some initial leather work is done in the DR. My Independence collection shoes only have Made in the USA, without that second part so I'm guessing they fall into the last category.

 

As kmdsimpson says, it isn't news.  It is there for anyone to see if they are looking for it.  Obviously it is a bit of an overstatement to say that everyone knows since many of the questions in these threads are cyclical, but it has been discussed at length. 

 

The issue is very easily blown out of proportion.  With most manufactering outsourcing, people contract with a manufacterer in another country to make a product for them, slap their brand name on it, and ship it back to be sold by the brand at retail.  The whole QA/QC process is maintained by the contracted manufacterer rather than the brand.  Obviously, the brand has the right to send defective products back to the contracted manufacterer if they find glaring problems.  This is not what Allen Edmonds is doing at all.  They have simply purchased some real estate in the DR, built their own factory, trained their own employees who are making AE shoes while wearing AE uniforms (I say this to make a point, not because they actually wear AE uniforms).  Their paychecks say AE on them, and they are hired and trained by AE.  They save money by doing this, which in turn saves us money.  If the shoe is made entirely in the DR, it says so on the shoe. Cutting some leather that will later be used to make Goodyear-welted shoes on presses at their own factory in the DR doesn't rub me the wrong way.   

 

As for the "Made in USA of Fine Imported Leather" comment, this was discussed briefly a few weeks ago as well.  This has nothing to do with initial leather work being done in the DR.  Shoe companies search the world over for the best quality leathers that they can find (at the right price) to make their shoes from.  This has always been the case.  AE started putting that on their insoles for transparency purposes, since "made in USA" doesn't have to mean "made from products grown in the USA."  They aren't the same thing, and they shouldn't be.  I wouldn't want my shoes made from some inferior quality calfskin simply because the grass the calves ate was in Montana rather than Germany.  If this year's crop of calfskin from Germany is better than Montana's, by all means, make my shoes from the German hides. 

post #18872 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyswatter View Post


I wouldn't wear a pair of shoes that squeak as audibly as some Amoks reportedly do if I got them for free. As for the talcum powder fix, how does that work, exactly? Sprinkle some inside the shoe? That seems... messy.
 

 

If you want a suede Chukka of higher quality, look to Alden. Those will definitely not squeak and are of higher quality all the way around. You get what you pay for. 

post #18873 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

As kmdsimpson says, it isn't news.  It is there for anyone to see if they are looking for it.  

 

That's the problem, you have to look for it. That does not equal 'transparency'. In fact, AE goes out of their way to hide this information on their website and blogs. 

 

As I've stated, I don't care where the shoes are made, I just believe AE should be completely up-front about it on their website and PR, rather than obscure it. If they are so proud about how good their DR manufacturing is, or how great it is for their business that they have a duplicate plant in the DR,  why are they not blogging about it, advertising it and why do they fail to mention this key fact in any of their PR?

 

Yes, the AE CEO has posted here and on other industry forums, but that does not equal 'transparency' given that this information has not been conveyed in any way on their website, blogs or advertising. They talk *a lot* about their USA plant but conveniently never talk about their Dominican Republic plant (except when pressed, and only on forums). Gee, I wonder why? Because they know it diminishes their 'The Great American Shoe Company' branding. 

post #18874 of 70737
i love AE as much as the next guy, but the reality is likely more:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

If this year's crop of calfskin from Germany is better cheaper than Montana's, by all means, make my shoes from the German hides. 
post #18875 of 70737

So- if you were senior management in a successful company you would make an effort to advertise not only the best things about the company and it's products but also things that the public would obviously perceive as a negative?

 

Please...  (insert eye roll here)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediahound View Post

 

That's the problem, you have to look for it. That does not equal 'transparency'. In fact, AE goes out of their way to hide this information on their website and blogs. 

 

As I've stated, I don't care where the shoes are made, I just believe AE should be completely up-front about it on their website and PR, rather than obscure it. If they are so proud about how good their DR manufacturing is, or how great it is for their business that they have a duplicate plant in the DR,  why are they not blogging about it, advertising it and why do they fail to mention this key fact in any of their PR?

 

Yes, the AE CEO has posted here and on other industry forums, but that does not equal 'transparency' given that this information has not been conveyed in any way on their website, blogs or advertising. They talk *a lot* about their USA plant but conveniently never talk about their Dominican Republic plant (except when pressed, and only on forums). Gee, I wonder why? Because they know it diminishes their 'The Great American Shoe Company' branding. 

post #18876 of 70737

I just had an episode of unexpected style-culture shock...  

 

I am living and working in North Africa, and as far as style goes it is essentially a European-influenced country. I recently for the first time in months pulled my beloved, broken-in pair of burgundy Bass Weejun loafers out of the closet and slipped them on, looked down and saw- well, it looked like a pair of boxes on my feet, I hate to admit...  shog[1].gif

It was a sad moment, when you have a pair of handsewn shoes that have molded to your feet perfectly it is a beautiful thing.

 

I will never go the extreme that I actually see every day on the street, the pointy-toe or even worse pointy-turned-up-toe look, but that being said:

 

 

Can anyone recommend from personal experience AE shoes that are more sleek, elegant if you will, a longer last with a narrower look to it? As well as the profile of the shoe as seen from the side? Pictures would be nice as well- the website pictures don't always give a really good perspective on this aspect of the shoes.

 

I have to say, I really like the European influence mens shoes better than the basic American "always stop the shoe 1/4" past the big toe" shapes... just for reference I have a pair of JM Williams Yearling boots on order, with the screwed sole option. That is what I think an elegant shoe looks like...  nod[1].gif

post #18877 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Busa View Post

So- if you were senior management in a successful company you would make an effort to advertise not only the best things about the company and it's products but also things that the public would obviously perceive as a negative?

Please...  (insert eye roll here)

The CEO views it as something positive and has stated so here, yet keeps it hush hush on their own site and blog. Real transparent...

Please...  (insert eye roll here)
post #18878 of 70737

You didn't answer the question...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediahound View Post


The CEO views it as something positive and has stated so here, yet keeps it hush hush on their own site and blog. Real transparent...

Please...  (insert eye roll here)
post #18879 of 70737
Well my first pair of AE's come today, the Townleys, first impressions are wow these things barely weigh a thing. The finish was not as bright and didn’t have as much shine as I thought it would being cordovan, probably due to the cream issue. I'll post pictures of them tonight.
post #18880 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by mediahound View Post

 

That's the problem, you have to look for it. That does not equal 'transparency'. In fact, AE goes out of their way to hide this information on their website and blogs. 

 

As I've stated, I don't care where the shoes are made, I just believe AE should be completely up-front about it on their website and PR, rather than obscure it. If they are so proud about how good their DR manufacturing is, or how great it is for their business that they have a duplicate plant in the DR,  why are they not blogging about it, advertising it and why do they fail to mention this key fact in any of their PR?

 

Yes, the AE CEO has posted here and on other industry forums, but that does not equal 'transparency' given that this information has not been conveyed in any way on their website, blogs or advertising. They talk *a lot* about their USA plant but conveniently never talk about their Dominican Republic plant (except when pressed, and only on forums). Gee, I wonder why? Because they know it diminishes their 'The Great American Shoe Company' branding. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busa View Post

So- if you were senior management in a successful company you would make an effort to advertise not only the best things about the company and it's products but also things that the public would obviously perceive as a negative?

 

Please...  (insert eye roll here)

 

 

My perception simply hasn't been that they go out of their way to hide anything.  They simply don't mention that a particular step in preparing their Goodyear-welted shoes is done in another factory other than their Wisconsin location.  Their website is as comprehensive (or more) than any other shoe company, but that doesn't mean that they take up the space to describe where each and every component of the shoes comes from.  As Busa says, not advertising something that many may be percieved to be a negative is completely normal in the world of sales.  I agree that it may not meet everyone's definition of "transparency."  However, transparency is a slippery slope.  If they believe that they can produce a product that is equal in quality while saving some money in the cost of manufactering, we reap the benefits of that as long as the quality is indeed equal.  To me, transparency is best described as answering a question honestly when asked, which AE's CEO does.  Voluntarily explaining each and every step of the process right down to where every single piece of leather is cut would be going the extra mile above and beyond what AE already does, and it just doesn't interest everyone, and would make for a website that is overburdened with details (not good marketing).  The people in SF are a special breed in that we do enjoy knowing these details, but we make up only a tiny fraction of AE's annual sales.  AE's website is already quite information packed compared to most other shoe companies.

post #18881 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Busa View Post

So- if you were senior management in a successful company you would make an effort to advertise not only the best things about the company and it's products but also things that the public would obviously perceive as a negative?

Please...  (insert eye roll here)

Furthermore, AE is a private company, not public. As a customer I choose to buy or not to buy, but I'm not a stockholder and don't think they owe me too much detail. Mediahound, please pick out your nearest $50mm manufacturer, walk in the front door, demand to see the President, and report back here if he divulged any trade secrets or dirty laundry about his company.

In other news, my 6month old MacAllisters have started squeaking in the last 2 wears. Just the right shoe, and it appears to originate from the section of leather that goes over my instep and bends when I step (the upper?). I was thinking that was part of the break in process, but this never happened with my 18month old Strands. Do I just need to give it a really good conditioning and polish?
post #18882 of 70737

Just noticed AE even has the matching belt for these, each color- on sale now!! Nice...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Close Hoarse View Post

 

Spring has sprung. Time to break out the spectators, Allen Edmonds Carlsbads. Unlike many specs, wear 'em with anything.

 

CH

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, R1.1.1.M2b

post #18883 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by mexicutioner View Post

i love AE as much as the next guy, but the reality is likely more:

 

I've been under the impression that European calfskin is quite often considered higher quality than anywhere else.  The finest sole leathers (obviously cowhide rather than calf) are absolutely from Europe - JR Redenbach, Bakers, Belgian chestnut tanned leathers... 

post #18884 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Busa View Post


Can anyone recommend from personal experience AE shoes that are more sleek, elegant if you will, a longer last with a narrower look to it? As well as the profile of the shoe as seen from the side? Pictures would be nice as well- the website pictures don't always give a really good perspective on this aspect of the shoes.

Have you taken a look at the Parkway? This shoe is a bit more European influenced than the average AE shoe IMHO. There are several user shots in this thread to give you an idea.
post #18885 of 70737
FWIW, my Amoks do not and have never squeaked.
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