I have several pairs of Sargents and until recently, I had always been satisfied with their quality. Recent purchases however, have shown a marked reduction in quality (or quality control at least) and a pair of premier wholecuts had to be returned.
The following is an extract from an email I sent the retailer who was in fairness concerned about my appraisal of the afforementioned shoes quality...
Again, pure speculation as to whether AS are outsourcing and the consequential impact this may be having on quality. In the last week I have received 3 pairs of AS, 2 from yourself - 1 was fine and looked to be from the old school i.e. construction standard is identical to older shoes I have. The other as you will have opportunity to see for yourself, is poorly constructed & finished. The 3rd pair came from Pediwear and whilst I don't think these are as good as the old school shoes, their was no justifiable reason to return them although I was rather underwhelmed by their quality.
Perhaps I have been unlucky but even so, quality control should be managing this situation.
As a checklist John, these are all the issues (some in fairness are almost inconsequential) that I noticed when inspecting the Shaftsbury's:
- Creasing of uppers around the lower heel area (cannot believe AS would champion this standard of workmanship if questioned)
- Uppers are blemished (I do not think this is part of the finish...just thought I'd get that in should someone dare to suggest it!)
- Heel top lift has only one row of brass pins (should be two and indeed their are two rows on 3 other pairs of AS I have)
- Rubber segment in top lift is ill fitting where it joins the leather (there should be no visible gap)
- One small crease in the upper as it tucks into the outer heel (not really an issue given the AS price point. If the shoes were Edward Green's / Lobb's, it would be unacceptable and I would expect the shoe would to be graded a 'second')
- Upper is also blemished (particularly around the outer toe area)
- Upper is damaged (check the seam at the top of the facing / tongue - the leather right on the seam has a small tear and the stitching on the seam only a cm away is a little discoloured)
- Heel top lift has only one row of brass pins
The right shoe is actually OK, the real issue as previously stated is the significant and completely unmissable creasing around the left shoe's lower heel.
Would other members care to comment on their recent experience with Sargent's quality?