It's gotta be more than one manufactuer. I picked up two pairs of Barney's house brand shoes at the last warehouse sale. I've noticed they have several quality - and price - categories in their house brand. Some of the stuff is in the Kenneth Cole league, some is much more refined. The first pair is a fairly high quality Italian made tan bluchers. It is leather-soled (they had a rubber-coated sole version) and the leather itself is of respectable quality. The sole says "lavorazione rapid blake' which I take to be the Italian equivalent of a Goodyear welt. I paid $120 for them, down from $240, which I thought was a good deal. I wouldn't have paid full retail. Second pair looks very similar but of much inferior construction and materials. It is also Italian, but with a very stiff sole and lousy shiny leather. I paid $40, down from $120. I don't consider it a good buy even at $40. The box had "Panelli" handwritten on it. I know Panelli is a decent maker of fashionable shoes. Can they be the culprit? Any idea who makes these shoes? BTW, my best buy was a pair of C&J handgrade wingtips bals (I think a discontinued style with a rather elongated shape, no perforations) which were $260 down from $525. Now that is a good buy.
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10/21/03 at 12:33pm