Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Considering they've been cutting corners lately (or so it looks to me), I'd rather they focus on quality and develop a strong set of core offerings before trying to capture lightning in a bottle. The odds of an almost obsolete shoe style becoming the next big thing, or even a major seller, strike me as remarkably slim. Personally, I'd be more likely to buy from them if they offered more Strands and fewer far-out shoes in hoping of tapping a market niche that probably doesn't exist. They're going to offer a bal boot but they don't even offer a simple blucher boot like the Coniston? Really?
I love old-school American shoes, and AE could be making those, but instead it devotes its time to stuff like this. Always chasing trends, rarely doing them well. Even as its perennial No. 1 seller is its most conservative offering, effectively unchanged for decades. It makes me a bit sad.
Funny you brought this up.....and interesting to see they are making a play in boots.
Last month I called them and asked if they were interested in getting together for a little collaboration. I said I had some ideas, but we would have to get rid of some of the components they turned to if I was going to put my name on anything......I would want leather welts instead of the pvc they use now, 270 degree not 360, Rendenbach soles in place of the chipboard soles and a different leather insole and the old linen/cotton thread in place of the poly thread they use now. They never called me back.....lol. The rep, who is a first-rate guy, asked some questions that indicated to me they really don't have a clue how to work a niche business.......they need volume. For a factory that needs volume, this sort of pattern is probably a waste of time and production, IMO. It's a niche item.....guys like me.
Anyway, I am nobody, so it doesn't surprise me they never called to discuss.....it was just an idea I had and I thought I could help them clean up some pattern work using my stylist in Italy for the pattern sketching and pattern cutting - and my ideas for material usage. But, they don't need me.
I think it is interesting to observe A/E and how they get thru the next few seasons being run by non-shoe people.....marketing guys are now in charge with absolutely NO shoe experience.....with the market as it is, and comparing it to Alden, who seems to be weathering the storm fairly well. I hope I am wrong
......I just have a feeling I've seen this movie before - it was called 'Johnston & Murphy - How to Destroy a Brand'.