Originally Posted by Gdot I somehow don't believe this was Hendrix's point.
I could be wrong but that's the way I read it. In any case, it has long been my
It seems to me that many here are way to focused on the welting methods as a shortcut to determining overall quality.
It's not a bad measure. The way a shoe is put together determines how long it will retain its shape, its fit, its integrity.
It's also a pretty fair indication of how much time and energy and consideration has gone into the conceptualization as well as the implementation of the idea of a shoe--what its function is, what the expectations are for it, how is it intended/expected to fit, support nurture and protect.
As you suggest gemming is, at bottom, cement construction. In that sense, it is always an expediency and something masquerading as something else in order to engage the customer or observer. Yet entirely without the intrinsic capacity to live up to what it is pretending to be.
As an expediency, it is a pretty fair one--it's quick, it's easy, it's cheap and it is not dependent on skill or quality materials to implement.
Further I find it baffling, as you do, what truely differents a $400 shoe from a $500 or even $600 shoe in terms of craftsmenship/construction quality. Might those differences in cost relate just as much to variations in material, finishing, and design related costs? I don't know. I'm asking your opinion as I truly value it
Well, this is the question isn't it? If you think about it...even in the most "efficient" operation there is a minimal cost of production to make leather. The price of the hide. The cost of the tanning extracts/chemicals. The finishing chemicals--dyes, etc.. The labour. And to be fair, some leathers are very definitely of better quality than others. But $400.00 worth? Will a domestic US calf skin cost triple to produce what it costs to produce an Italian calfskin? Quadruple?
And when you get right down to it, it's a lot like gemmed shoes--if you start out with a raw hide from a yearling calf and subject it to three weeks (?) in a chrome bath and other processes, is it going to be really and truly triple or quadruple the quality of another cheaper calf leather that has gone through a nearly identical process? The raw materials are the same, the tanning processes the same...the finishing may differ but marginally so and for the most part only superficially.
I am not sure any of us knows what the value of a RTW shoe is. Are the $100.00 shoes fair value or a bargain at twice the price? Are the $500.00 shoes overpriced or simply filling the demand for "luxury" (?--cachet) goods to the masses?Edited by DWFII - 1/7/12 at 6:21pm