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Barker Black Shoes - what's your take?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I was at Saks on my lunch hour and they have a pretty impressive display of Barker Black shoes, and they are much finer than anything I've seen in a long time. The style and details were very-very cool, and the quality seemed top notch. Price is very steep ($750) though. Anyone have a pair? What's your take on them? I read somewhere that Barker Black is the "Thom Browne of shoes."
post #2 of 25
I liked what I saw via magazines, even the skull and bones gimmick, fun for a change. But at their price, I'm hesitant.
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerm
I was at Saks on my lunch hour and they have a pretty impressive display of Barker Black shoes, and they are much finer than anything I've seen in a long time. The style and details were very-very cool, and the quality seemed top notch. Price is very steep ($750) though. Anyone have a pair? What's your take on them? I read somewhere that Barker Black is the "Thom Browne of shoes."

Stopped by their store in Nolita. All I could come up with to summarize their offering is "ridiculous" and "fad". It is the epitome of someone trying to by trendy or set a trend for the sake of being a trend... How many times can he use this silly skull & bones gimmick... seriously?
post #4 of 25
Barker Black shoes would go perfectly with these

Haven't seen them IRL, but from the web images they look hella nice. The price is a deterrent for me unless they are a part of a huge markdown like Sak's boxing day sale.

<I read somewhere that Barker Black is the "Thom Browne of shoes.">

do you know what that is supposed to mean?
post #5 of 25
I think Barker was one of those mid-range brands that got revamped; however, their regular line of shoes is still extant somewhere. Apparently here: http://www.barker-shoes.co.uk/(kth35...)/Default.aspx
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Get Smart
<I read somewhere that Barker Black is the "Thom Browne of shoes.">

do you know what that is supposed to mean?

Probably something along the lines of: well constructed but overly trendy, and the recipient of significantly more attention than warranted.

I've seen them and think they're too gimmicky.
post #7 of 25
I actually kinda like them in person. Leather not bad (not Greens, tho', and at that price they should be close...) and construction seemed decent. I'd love to have a real shoe-fiend take a look at them and give an unvarnished opinion. I've heard all kinds of scuttlebutt about them, and agree that they are a bit gimmicky, but I do kinda like some of their styles @ the Nolita store.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203
Stopped by their store in Nolita. All I could come up with to summarize their offering is "ridiculous" and "fad". It is the epitome of someone trying to by trendy or set a trend for the sake of being a trend... How many times can he use this silly skull & bones gimmick... seriously?


I really agree with you there. They could tone it down with the skull & bones medallion, which reminds me of Gucci and their 4 millionth reincarnation of the "G".

Someone brought up a very good point. At the 750 price point, they are only 50-100 cheaper than EG. So how good are they?

I was thinking of getting the CJ weymouths from plal, but Black has a plain whole cut with a skull & bone medalion. I think I may cash in some Amex rewards points.
post #9 of 25
The Barker Blacks I've seen were nice, but maybe C&J Benchgrade (not Handgrade) nice. The $700 prices for them are ridiculous, a triumph of marketing and an indictment of taste -- skulls are so 2000, Lucien Pellat-Finet. Of course, Pellat-Finet is still doing skulls and hemp cashmere sweaters for two grand, all supposedly edgy, so I guess Barker decided to walk the plank. There's a low wit to the skull medallion, and somewhat higher wit to the snaffle loafer with bone-shaped bit. However, they are overpriced by a factor of two. Buy them by all means if it amuses you and you have the money. But they're a reminder that price is not always commensurate with quality.
post #10 of 25
My understanding (might be misinformed...) is that they are of same construction standard and quality as the regular Barker shoes. Different designs, different marketing strategy, and of course different prices.

What made me think "ridiculous!" when I stepped out of the store is as much related to the accessories (overload of skull & bones embroidered ties, bowties, pocket squares, braces...) as to the shoes. They sell Polo quality items at Kiton prices
post #11 of 25
Nyet. Unimpressed with the quality and novetly would wear off quickly. Oops, there it went.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by aportnoy
Nyet. Unimpressed with the quality and novetly would wear off quickly. Oops, there it went.


I cannot seem to move past the "novelty" to even assess the shoes.

I will take a pass.
post #13 of 25
When it comes to ponying up for good shoes, I always take comfort in thinking of how long they should last. These, though ... How many people will still be wearing these six months after purchase, much less 20 years from now?

Must be nice to have $700 to drop on novelty shoes. I could be the wealthiest man in the world and I'd still think twice.
post #14 of 25
I visited the Barker shop in London some weeks ago, they only sold the regular Barker line. They were about GBP90-200, worth it at the lower end, but pushing it at GBP200. At USD750, it's incredibly overpriced.
post #15 of 25
Barker and Barker Black are operating separately. I would be surprised if the latter are made to the former's standards. In fact, IMMSMC, spokespersons for the brand have said otherwise in interviews and pub blurbs.
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