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The Berluti shoe thread - Page 16

post #226 of 357
Quote:
Can you elaborate on this, Ron? What actually happens?

In the finishing? Or the work?

Berluti is a brand.....they don't make shoes. Ferrarese make most of the LV brands production, but it is common to have shared production, or if a special line is needed (say they want to introduce a small range of Goodyear), to find someone else to make them to your specs. In this case it was something for a different line, as the finishing requirements were actually less than what we had heard (2 hours per shoe for the Swiss leather[Venezia I think it's called]) and we supplied the leather. I have no idea who picked up the contract, or if it even was developed - samples and ideas fly around Italy all day long....most never see the market.

Anyway, it's not so complicated - brand builds business, hires modelist (either in-house or freelance, mostly freelance), they spend all day designing shoes, sourcing manager goes around either the Milan area or the Marche to visit factories, see the work, give the blueprint, ask for samples, finalize a price for production and the requirements of delivery.....brand takes samples to market, gets orders (or not, mostly) and off you go. For most brands who have some connection to manufacturing (like LVMH and Gucci Group), the early stages of a line are contracted and, if successful, is then brought into it's own production.

It's really no different than what I do here....take the potential work we are doing with Tom at LeatherSoleHawaii.....RM had no production in Shell Cordovan - I had a long talk with Tom in Las Vegas, we decided to see about a small group of shoes in SC, I talked with Skip Horween and bought all available shells on the market for our concerns (not #8 and black...all other colors) and worked with him to do 2 custom colors, Tom gave me a couple of pattern idea's, we took some out of our archives and developed one just for him, and now we are delivering the samples for final approval.....this work was all between Tom and I, and RM is simply making what we want - same thing as a brands work.

As for the finishing, this is really what you pay for in a Berluti shoe....everything else is readily available from many other brands at a much lower price. There is nothing special about the shoes from a construction point of view - many small factories make excellent shoes - and the Venezia leather is simply a small production calfskin that has little or no surface veining (which is why Berluti needs it....it is dependable in production and requires little thought by the finishers as they can strip color without problems), but the time requirements in finishing are unique, and costly. Let's say a typical factory in Italy employs 15 workers and finishes, on average, 100 pair per day (and this is the norm....if you employ over 15, I think, you are taxed as a 'production' factory as opposed to a 'artisan' workshop/factory whose tax base is MUCH lower - at least this is what I understand the numbers to be). The finishing room will employ 3-4 of the staff, and the average time in finishing for a high quality shoe is anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, and the work is shared, not individuals doing all the finishing of each pair. Now, lets say you have two groups of shoes being made....120 pair for A and 120 pair for Berluti (or anyone needing this sort of time...makes no difference). Customer A, if everything goes as hoped (and I think there was a Wednesday in 2005 where everything actually did go as hoped) can have his shoes finished in 2 days, basically, but customer B's shoes will take more than 1 week! Add to that the fact that now, since the finishing room is all backed up, you had to slow down production of other shoes and you have a huge premium to pay for those 120 pair with the long, alcohol finish. That's what you pay for.

Finally, most of us are probably just jealous of them as, using the picture posted above as an example (please, no offense intended...just using the available information to give my opinion and that's all...there are plenty of people who don't like my shoes), they can charge a premium for their shoes while, if the same thing happened in the finish on our shoes, we would have a return.
post #227 of 357
Quote:
Berluti is a brand.....they don't make shoes. Ferrarese make most of the LV brands production, but it is common to have shared production, or if a special line is needed (say they want to introduce a small range of Goodyear), to find someone else to make them to your specs.

Ron,

I usually enjoy your commentary but here I believe you don't know what you are talking about. Berluti does have a bespoke operation and does make their own shoes there. While you seem to dismiss them as a "brand" there is some rich history with this company and a tradition of well crafted shoes. I have the same concerns everyone has about the LV takeover but I feel you dismiss their accomplishments unjustly.

We've known for some time on the board that the RTW line has been done by contract manufacturers (I believe the StefanoBi team, also good shoes) but that is quite common in the industry. More importantly I can't see any issues with quality. I own about six pairs and they have all held up beautifully over the years. They are some of my best "going out" shoes.

As for customer loyalty, the reason may be the distinctness of the finish and design and Olga plays a large role in this (or at least used to) and good customer service. I have been very well served in the London and Milan stores and both stores I visited in Tokyo.

Berluti is certainly not on the order of EG or the bespoke makers but they make a fine shoe.
post #228 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
Ron,

I usually enjoy your commentary but here I believe you don't know what you are talking about. Berluti does have a bespoke operation and does make their own shoes there. While you seem to dismiss them as a "brand" there is some rich history with this company and a tradition of well crafted shoes. I have the same concerns everyone has about the LV takeover but I feel you dismiss their accomplishments unjustly.

We've known for some time on the board that the RTW line has been done by contract manufacturers (I believe the StefanoBi team, also good shoes) but that is quite common in the industry. More importantly I can't see any issues with quality. I own about six pairs and they have all held up beautifully over the years. They are some of my best "going out" shoes.

As for customer loyalty, the reason may be the distinctness of the finish and design and Olga plays a large role in this (or at least used to) and good customer service. I have been very well served in the London and Milan stores and both stores I visited in Tokyo.

Berluti is certainly not on the order of EG or the bespoke makers but they make a fine shoe.
Can you judge and define a company by what is only a minute fraction of their business? 99%+ of Berluti's business is not their bespoke shoes. I don't think it would be accurate to use that portion of their business to claim that they are a shoemaker and not a "brand" selling the shoes made by others. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I like Ralph Lauren very much, and that's a "brand."
post #229 of 357
I think Artisan Fan is simply being carried away a little because he owns some Berlutis. Berluti is and will remain a huge marketing construction. If you choose to believe in that fine after all they have to make up for the 900.000 Euro they lost last year. Maybe by reducing costs (ie quality) and raising prices yet a little more.

Besides I just checked at The Marbeuf store: even the de mesure collection is blake constructed. When I pulled the shoe-tree out of the sample to check I was told of by the sales assitant "sorry Sir, you are not allowed to do that...". I wonder why...
post #230 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by stilmacher View Post
Besides I just checked at The Marbeuf store: even the de mesure collection is blake constructed. When I pulled the shoe-tree out of the sample to check I was told of by the sales assitant "sorry Sir, you are not allowed to do that...". I wonder why...

Your theory is that they don't want you manhandling their display shoes because they don't want everyone to realize that the shoes are actually blake constructed? Perhaps they don't want you manhandling their shoes because they don't want you manhandling their shoes.
post #231 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBZ View Post
Your theory is that they don't want you manhandling their display shoes because they don't want everyone to realize that the shoes are actually blake constructed? Perhaps they don't want you manhandling their shoes because they don't want you manhandling their shoes.

Sure, that would make sense and due to the polish I could understand that (although I would fin it disagreeable). However he gave me the shoe to hold and only complained when I removed the tree.
post #232 of 357
Quote:
I usually enjoy your commentary but here I believe you don't know what you are talking about. Berluti does have a bespoke operation and does make their own shoes there

I'm sure they do.

Quote:
While you seem to dismiss them as a "brand" there is some rich history with this company and a tradition of well crafted shoes

Do you really think I 'dismissed' them? How? I think I said we were jealous of them, and studied their shoes each season. I would not call that dsmissive.

Quote:
I feel you dismiss their accomplishments unjustly.

If you do a search, you will find that I have stated here that I like most of their designs.

Quote:
More importantly I can't see any issues with quality. I own about six pairs and they have all held up beautifully over the years. They are some of my best "going out" shoes.

I did not say the quality of manufacture was bad, just that it was nothing special...I stand behind that until proven differently. Can you tell me how they are any better than, say, Gravati?

My point was in the finishing....the picture posted is a heavily alcohol wiped finish that, for all except Berluti, would be sent back for a refund at the point of spidering like this....and I would give it.

Quote:
Berluti is certainly not on the order of EG or the bespoke makers but they make a fine shoe.

Now I am confused....you take issue with my post, claim they make their own bespoke shoes in their own shop, yet comment that they are not as good as EG or the bespoke makers? Please clarify....it's good for the conversation.

Finally, I am not sure I was being negative as much as stating some facts....you can decide wether to take it as a negative or a positive. I would argue that the explaination of the time required, and the leather used, could be taken by many as a positive in how they view Berluti.....Martegani certainly is not going to spend 2 hours wiping shoes with alcohol, so you could say that, in this regard, Berluti is far superior to our shoes.
post #233 of 357
Ron, I think deep inside we (by that I mean us on this forum) agree that Berluti is over-priced for what they sell, but as consumers, we are certainly not cured from their marketing. I admire the design value, and what I do is that I take in the aesthetic elements and commission bespoke shoes from other makers. You are absolutely right about their construction, whether blake or Africa or Norvegese or whatever pretty names they come up with, these are no better or worse than other decent Italian makers. The only thing that I am really not okay with is the leather they use. The leather is not built to last, but to impress, and that's what we buy into. If only they could use something other than the Venezia leather.
post #234 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIDER View Post
In the finishing? Or the work?

I was inquiring about the finishing, but I enjoyed your other response just as well. Hope I haven't gotten you into hot water here.

I have to say, it sounds like you have a very fun job, though I'm sure there are a lot of headaches.
post #235 of 357
My .02... Other than the one loafer (Andy?), Berluti shoes are ugly, badly made, overpriced and tacky. YMMV.
post #236 of 357
My nationality has never prevented me from having a critical outlook on the products sold by my fellow countrymen....
Criticism is always useful if it is done in a constructive and positive maneer...
I'm always amused in England on how much anything slighty British or even more English is becoming over-hyped such as TVR , British Airways ,Tim Henman or the Rover 75 and so many others,even the one foreign-owned and built...
I will be maybe be thrown into the Bastille for saying this but i do think Berluti is overpriced and over-rated...
French shoemakers have a great future with the upcoming generation more preoccupied by creativity and skills than PR....
RJ MAN ,De Gaulle used to say how difficult it is to rule a country with 350 different types of cheese!!!!!
We like to argue and to make up with a good glass of wine....
post #237 of 357
Quote:
Now I am confused....you take issue with my post, claim they make their own bespoke shoes in their own shop, yet comment that they are not as good as EG or the bespoke makers? Please clarify....it's good for the conversation.

I was speaking to the RTW line. I find their bespoke on par with the better bespoke offerings based on what I have seen in terms of client shoes and "cutaways" in the London store.

Quote:
I think Artisan Fan is simply being carried away a little because he owns some Berlutis.

Not at all. My Berlutis are among my least expensive better quality shoes and I would not let my ownership sway my opinion in any event.
post #238 of 357
They're really cousu Blake for the rtw collection....
They also do not want you to spoil their beautiful glacage and patina....
Berluti are nearly art shoes ,conceptual objects left to wander in the open display of life
post #239 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIDER View Post

45 minutes to 1 hour of hand rubbing each pair (the finish is not anything special....simply alcohol and time)....


@RIDER

Could you tell a little bit more about how precisely the patina is achieved.

Also, I have seen on your blog that you present some small leather goods which remind me of JL's museum calf, maybe you could give us a hint about how the patina is done on these...
post #240 of 357
He will have to kill you after that!!!!!!
Ma Olga will put a hit on you....
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