Actually, all of the shoes are mine. I've been on a shoe spree for the past couple of years. I picked up the gators from an estate sale on ebay. They had each been worn once, and there was maybe one scratch on each of the soles. I actually got the order number for them and asked AE about them. They confirmed not only that they are real gator, but also that it would cost me $3,200 per pair to have them made now.
The Cliftons in black shark were made a couple of years ago with the help of Sherman Brothers, before the current MTO program. My grandfather had a pair of the old Nassau and I liked the look of black shark. The brown/chili Sheltons were ordered a while back, but I used all of their remaining stock of chili and brown. I also have a pair of black shark Eagle Countrys coming up that is using the last of the black shark stock.
The loafer you have there looks amazing - it would just be uber expensive. I know AE has some croc-print leather. Maybe a cheaper alternative?
Fantastic information, thank you. I'm curious, which of your exotics do you find get the most wear? I work in a conservative law firm, and though park ave's are certainly appropriate, I doubt I could get away with gator park aves. Of all your shoes, I think the brown/chili shark saddles are the most stunning--although I don't have the style chops to figure out how to wear them. With a loafer, I feel like I could always wear it for a cocktail party, evening out, or special occasion. A wardrobe staple exotic, if there is such a thing.
As for the gator patriots, the price doesn't surprise me. For real croc, it's really expensive, no matter the manufacturer. My biggest concern was finding a loafer with a last that works for me, and then building out the wardrobe from there. I don't mind saving up for a wardrobe statement piece, especially one that will last a long time and come backed with AE's recrafting program. Perhaps I will give AE a call at some point and explore the possibility of a gator patriot.
Out of curiosity, does anybody have any ostrich AE shoes? I'm curious to see what they look like in real life. Thanks!