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shoe construction...behind the veil - Page 72

post #1066 of 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post


"A bespoke maker has many limitations..." So they do. But there are bespoke makers who charge far less than some RTW makers. And there are SF members who spend just as much--no, more--time ordering and shipping back and forth shoes as I do bespeaking shoes.

Yes, good RTW trumps good bespoke on greater availability. And it often trumps in general consistency.

But with bespoke, you design the shoes. In bespoke, the shoes are made for one pair of feet--yours.

So yes, quality is only one factor. But there are factors besides quality on which bespoke trumps RTW and MTO.

 

You forgot to mention that there are also lousy bespoke makers. I can get a pair of bespoke from Indonesia for less than USD$200. Not sure that it will beat a pair of Loakes in overall quality, but hell yeah, it is cheaper. Cheaper because some chap in Indonesia is working at subsistence wages under hazardous conditions.

 

And yes, the customer "design" the shoes made for only their one pair of feet. Is this universally better for the cost and time involved?

 

As for design, there are good designs and there are shit designs. But with RTW you get to see the final product first. With bespoke, you are taking a punt.

 

As for shoes being made for one pair of feet, the normal distribution bell curve has something to say.  Most RTW shoes made will fit most people, for all practical purposes, not perfectly, but good enough (look at case studies for Microsoft vs Apple, VHS vs Betamax, etc). Bespoke does not trump here at all.

 

Even an average or even below average RTW trumps good bespoke in availability, especially with proliferation of online. I am not sure this is even an argument at all.

post #1067 of 1515
Bespoke or hand made does not indicate that they are constructed of quality.

Sometimes bespoke/handmade shoes were constructed/made so poorly that customers are simply subsidizing the makers/workshops learning cost. At a higher price tag compare to factory made shoes as well.

Just because they 'can' make it the way customer orders does not mean that they are experienced in those making techniques.

Theres the stigma that equates bespoke makers with the top notch guys. In reality the variance and dispersion of skill is much greater than RTW. I.e., the gap of quality between the Carmina and G&G of the HW world is much wider than of the RTW world.
post #1068 of 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petepan View Post

You forgot to mention that there are also lousy bespoke makers. I can get a pair of bespoke from Indonesia for less than USD$200. Not sure that it will beat a pair of Loakes in overall quality, but hell yeah, it is cheaper. Cheaper because some chap in Indonesia is working at subsistence wages under hazardous conditions.

And yes, the customer "design" the shoes made for only their one pair of feet. Is this universally better for the cost and time involved?

As for design, there are good designs and there are shit designs. But with RTW you get to see the final product first. With bespoke, you are taking a punt.

As for shoes being made for one pair of feet, the normal distribution bell curve has something to say.  Most RTW shoes made will fit most people, for all practical purposes, not perfectly, but good enough (look at case studies for Microsoft vs Apple, VHS vs Betamax, etc). Bespoke does not trump here at all.

Even an average or even below average RTW trumps good bespoke in availability, especially with proliferation of online. I am not sure this is even an argument at all.

These are mostly restatements of concessions I already made, or they are red herrings.

Good bespoke can be had--in Budapest, in Poland, in Italy, in Mexico, even in the US--for less than what some RTW makers charge; 200 USD bespoke is neither here nor there. And are you really saying that buying Edward Green is treating the chap in the 200 dollar shop better than buying shoes from the shop? Come on. People take such jobs because the other feasible options are worse. The chap presumably wants the shop to have business, so that he keeps his job until something better comes along. Doing all your business in the First World because you don't want to get involved in exploitation in the Third World does ZERO to help the exploited in the Third World.

I've no idea what you mean by "universally better." What I said was that being able to design the shoe counts in bespoke's favor, and against RTW. Of course it doesn't decide the issue in bespoke's favor. We are exploring all the relative strengths of bespoke and RTW, so that users can arrive at informed judgments about which is best for their purchasing programs.

I conceded that bespoke has more problems with quality control than good RTW.

Yes, RTW can fit well enough--if you put in the time and the effort needed to hunt down the sizes in lasts that fit you well enough. Another area in which RTW is not obviously more time-efficient than bespoke. But decent bespoke will fit you better than well enough. The fact is that there are levels of excellence higher than well enough. If you value those levels, then bespoke does trump RTW on fit. Obviously, if after well enough you don't care, then it wouldn't. But then why not just buy a few Allen Edmonds and call your shoe collection complete? Allen Edmonds make a well-enough looking shoe, it's constructed well enough, and it can be gotten to fit well enough. Most on this forum don't settle for "well enough" in the way things look. They want something better. So why should they settle for well enough in terms of fit? Or construction?

Nobody disputed that RTW wins on availability. In fact, I said as much.
post #1069 of 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post


These are mostly restatements of concessions I already made, or they are red herrings.

Good bespoke can be had--in Budapest, in Poland, in Italy, in Mexico, even in the US--for less than what some RTW makers charge; 200 USD bespoke is neither here nor there. And are you really saying that buying Edward Green is treating the chap in the 200 dollar shop better than buying shoes from the shop? Come on. People take such jobs because the other feasible options are worse. The chap presumably wants the shop to have business, so that he keeps his job until something better comes along. Doing all your business in the First World because you don't want to get involved in exploitation in the Third World does ZERO to help the exploited in the Third World.


Yes, RTW can fit well enough--if you put in the time and the effort needed to hunt down the sizes in lasts that fit you well enough. Another area in which RTW is not obviously more time-efficient than bespoke. But decent bespoke will fit you better than well enough. The fact is that there are levels of excellence higher than well enough. If you value those levels, then bespoke does trump RTW on fit. Obviously, if after well enough you don't care, then it wouldn't. But then why not just buy a few Allen Edmonds and call your shoe collection complete? Allen Edmonds make a well-enough looking shoe, it's constructed well enough, and it can be gotten to fit well enough. Most on this forum don't settle for "well enough" in the way things look. They want something better. So why should they settle for well enough in terms of fit? Or construction?

 

 

First paragraph: the point is in response to your own comments on price, that some bespoke is cheaper than RTW. As you have noted, it is neither here nor there. That much we are agreed on. Budapest, Poland, Mexico whatever other places, have you factored in the cost of getting there and staying there, in addition to the sticker price?

 

Second paragraph: The vast majority settles for well enough, both in terms of fit AND construction, because of factors such as price, availability, time, and consistency of product. Everyone WANTS something better. What you WANT, and what you can GET, are different things. That is how it works when people allocate scarce resources. Millions of people around the world do that mental calculation every day, even the chaps on this august forum. To call each of them stupid (not directed at you) for supposedly forsaking quality rather over-estimates the speaker's own intelligence.

 

p/s this is the wrong forum to talk about Third World exploitation problems, so my apologies for bringing that up. However, if I may kindly add, I may not be the solution, but I dont have to be part of the problem.

post #1070 of 1515
Bespoke fit is a process and not guaranteed to fit better than RTW initially. True for bespoke tailoring and true for bespoke shoes.

Different makers also fit differently and different individuals prefers different fit.

Good bespoke? Meh, that's too subjective.
post #1071 of 1515
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Bespoke or hand made does not indicate that they are constructed of quality.

That's true. But it is even more true of RTW. Esp. If we truly understand what quality is.

Because despite what the factory mentality wants to believe (wants us all to believe), quality stands by itself. The only context it needs to justify itself is comparison to other similar processes or artifacts.

When someone says that quality has to be seen in light of the cost or price, what they are really saying is that price is the only thing that matters. For them. Or, if they are posturing for an audience...the only thing that ought to matter.

For me, it takes an especially impoverished view of the world and a thin soul to come to the point where we "know the price of everything and the value of nothing."
Quote:
Sometimes bespoke/handmade shoes were constructed/made so poorly that customers are simply subsidizing the makers/workshops learning cost. At a higher price tag compare to factory made shoes as well.

Slowly but surely this conversation gets dragged into the weeds...as it always does. We were talking about hand welted vs machine welted. HW vs GY. Focusing on bespoke is a red herring. It does serve to change the subject, I'll grant you that, but it's immaterial and incoherent in the context.

Every human endeavor has pitfalls and people who cannot and do not handle those challenges well. I know bespoke makers who love to do cement construction. Who think it is " best practices." Or if not, ought to be.

But for every bespoke maker who falls short of what most discerning people would call a modicum of quality, there are just as many RTW start ups that produce unadulterated "trash."

And the reason that is true is simply that we, as consumers want everything handed to us--even our standards of quality. We don't want to refine our senses enough to be able to recognize quality when we see it--it's only worth notice if it shines real good. It's too much bother to develop an "eye." Too much effort and it costs too much.

People will pay big dollars to buy lower quality rather than put any energy into thinking about what they are buying. Again we want everything handed to us...so much so that we no longer seem to have the ability to look at the work and decide if it is worth our money. We need someone to tell us. We need the comfort of "group think." Again perhaps it is just too much effort. And in such cases...whether ti be bespoke or RTW, "a fool and his money are soon parted."

The big difference, however, between bespoke and manufactured...at any level...is that the bespoke maker is, in most cases, at least trying. The bespoke maker cares, ostensibly, about quality for its own sake, while the factory only cares about the bottom line and "quality"...or at least the appearance of quality...is only bait.
Quote:
Just because they 'can' make it the way customer orders does not mean that they are experienced in those making techniques.

And just because a person can seem to talk about these issues (often without really saying anything) "does not mean that they are experienced" with them.
Quote:
Theres the stigma that equates bespoke makers with the top notch guys. In reality the variance and dispersion of skill is much greater than RTW. I.e., the gap of quality between the Carmina and G&G of the HW world is much wider than of the RTW world.

No, there's an impoverished sensibility that equates higher prices with quality. That equates cachet brand names with quality. That equates shine with quality. Fast and easy with quality. Or "new and innovative" with quality.

From food to politics to shoes, to whatever "passions" we lay claim to...what there is of them, such as they are...we are just too tired to look beyond the shine, or rise above the superficial.

edited for punctuation and clarity
Edited by DWFII - 2/5/16 at 6:25am
post #1072 of 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post
. In reality the variance and dispersion of skill is much greater than RTW. I.e., the gap of quality between the Carmina and G&G of the HW world is much wider than of the RTW world.

I would like to understand the evidence for your statement above. On first glance, this would seem to be an entirely reasonable thought, but I wonder if there is anything backing it up or just supposition. 

 

This happens quite a lot that statements get made offering "facts" that end up having nothing to support them, so I was curious to learn more about your source for this information.

post #1073 of 1515
As our esteemed pedagogue says, quality stands by itself. I say bullshit, lets debate that.

Secondly, it is poor form to twist words to suit an argument. No one is suggesting cost or price are the only things that matter. On the contrary, our keeper of the thread is suggesting that quality is the ONLY thing that matters. Selective blindness at its best.

To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
post #1074 of 1515
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdavro23 View Post

I would like to understand the evidence for your statement above. On first glance, this would seem to be an entirely reasonable thought, but I wonder if there is anything backing it up or just supposition. 

This happens quite a lot that statements get made offering "facts" that end up having nothing to support them, so I was curious to learn more about your source for this information.

I would have to say that chogall's observation is probably true...esp. in this day and age. And the reason, quite simply is our own collective indifference to quality and everything associated with rigour or Tradition or...facts, really. We capriciously(?), tiredly(?) dumb down words and meaning and standards with such abandon that only by looking at the Traditions and the past can we know what is quality.

Without a doubt, a lot of wanna-be makers just getting into the Trade have more contempt for Tradition and best practices than they do respect. Some of it has to do, again, with this unwillingness to commit...either themselves or too much energy, attention, etc....and some of it is a fascination with "advancing materials science" and everything that is new...and shiny.

And there's more of them than there is of those who do respect Tradition and history and best practices. Of course the factories are all just better organized versions of that same indifferent, insouciant mentality.
post #1075 of 1515
Thread Starter 
There are only three kinds of people who post to a thread like this--shoemakers/craftsmen/artisans who are necessarily and unapologeticlaly focused on quality and excellence; people who are interested in shoes and what goes into them and, by extension, comparative quality; and those who by their own admission don't give a damn about shoes or quality but are here for the sole purpose of creating dissension and basking in the warmth of a flame war.

I suspect it is evident to everyone reading this thread that you don't fit into either of the first two categories.

Ipso facto...

Such people are commonly referred to as "trolls."

--
Edited by DWFII - 2/5/16 at 6:32am
post #1076 of 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petepan View Post

First paragraph: the point is in response to your own comments on price, that some bespoke is cheaper than RTW. As you have noted, it is neither here nor there. That much we are agreed on. Budapest, Poland, Mexico whatever other places, have you factored in the cost of getting there and staying there, in addition to the sticker price?

Second paragraph: The vast majority settles for well enough, both in terms of fit AND construction, because of factors such as price, availability, time, and consistency of product. Everyone WANTS something better. What you WANT, and what you can GET, are different things. That is how it works when people allocate scarce resources. Millions of people around the world do that mental calculation every day, even the chaps on this august forum. To call each of them stupid (not directed at you) for supposedly forsaking quality rather over-estimates the speaker's own intelligence.

p/s this is the wrong forum to talk about Third World exploitation problems, so my apologies for bringing that up. However, if I may kindly add, I may not be the solution, but I dont have to be part of the problem.

I actually think the exploitation question is quite relevant, and something people should think about when buying things. So I've no complaint about your bringing it up. What I was objecting to was the implication that I advocate buying 200 USD bespoke over Edward Green. I never implied that.

I agree that traveling to work with a bespoke maker costs time and money. But I seem to remember a lot of posts where members flew halfway around the world to buy readymade, GYW shoes. And then did it again, a year later.

I quite agree that the vast majority settle for well enough. But I'm not trying to persuade them. I'm trying to persuade the guys who buy 7 pairs of Edward Green, 7 C&J handgrades, and 4 Gaziano & Girling. They're putting serious time and money into buying shoes. Why can't they pass up on a few pairs of C&J and buy some decent bespoke? It doesn't have to be Anthony Delos or JLP bespoke. There are plenty of makers in between them and your 200 USD makers. The guys I'm talking about obviously could get something not terribly inferior to Delos, if they'd just forgo buying a couple of more pairs of C&J. I'm not calling them stupid. I'm challenging them on their values. For them, having lots of truly beautiful shoes trumps everything else: construction, materials, fit, designing it yourself, working with a craftsperson, preserving the craft...This is really the core issue, and one of DWF's main contributions to SF is that he was the one who put that issue front and center. No doubt beauty is important--we wouldn't be on SF if we didn't care about it. But is it so important that it justifies buying lots of G&G and EG GYW readymades and no bespoke or hand-welted?
Edited by Testudo_Aubreii - 2/5/16 at 6:33am
post #1077 of 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I would have to say that chogall's observation is probably true...esp. in this day and age. And the reason, quite simply is our own collective indifference to quality and everything associated with rigour or Tradition or...facts, really. We capriciously(?), tiredly(?) dumb down words and meaning and standards with such abandon that only by looking at the Traditions and the past can we know what is quality.

Without a doubt, a lot of wanna-be makers just getting into the Trade have more contempt for Tradition and best practices than they do respect. Some of it has to do, again, with this unwillingness to commit...either themselves or too much energy, attention, etc....and some of it is a fascination with "advancing materials science" and everything that is new...and shiny.

And there's more of them than there is of those who do respect Tradition and history and best practices. Of course the factories are all just better organized versions of that same indifferent, insouciant mentality.

I think it is probably true also, but I dont KNOW that, and I dont think he KNOWS either. We can suppose and infer and perhaps even have good instincts about things, but unless we have the evidence or the first hand experience, then its just some guy's opinion. And you know what they say about opinions...

post #1078 of 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petepan View Post

As our esteemed pedagogue says, quality stands by itself. I say bullshit, lets debate that.

Secondly, it is poor form to twist words to suit an argument. No one is suggesting cost or price are the only things that matter. On the contrary, our keeper of the thread is suggesting that quality is the ONLY thing that matters. Selective blindness at its best.

To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

The weight of the irony of someone complaining about the twisting of words going on to twist words is far too heavy for me...

post #1079 of 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdavro23 View Post

I would like to understand the evidence for your statement above. On first glance, this would seem to be an entirely reasonable thought, but I wonder if there is anything backing it up or just supposition. 

This happens quite a lot that statements get made offering "facts" that end up having nothing to support them, so I was curious to learn more about your source for this information.

Visit a few bespoke/HW makers and you will understand.

I won't name names about low quality HW aside from the makers I've actually used. i.e., SC where I came out and state their making and clicking have problems, Vass about their manufacturing/making variances, and Meermin about their clicking problems.

You don't have to believe me, but I've visited quite a few bespok/HW makers. And I am confident to say I've visited way more high end/high price point makers than whom DWFII knows.

You want support? I've visited most trunk shows in SF, flew down to OC to visit Berluti and JLP, visited a few makers in Asia, and on schedule to visit a few JP makers this year.

Or you can stay closed minded and listen to smear campaigns and useless pitches.
post #1080 of 1515

Is a handgraded C&J also fully GYW andgemmed, or it is handwelted?

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