Originally Posted by Homme
I've always been interested when designers have others manufacture their items - just because these are made by Edward Green, does it really mean they are equal in quality to the shoes that come from the same factory, and are branded Edward Green ?
If you're speaking in a general sense, then the answer is no. Lots of companies will make to specification, and are indifferent to whether that specification is of a higher or lower degree of quality than the house-branded stuff. Grenson, for example, now makes its top-line Masterpieces only for Paul Stuart. And then there's Corneliani, which makes the suits for Polo blue label. The suits are nice, but lack the handwork and construction quality of Corneliani's house-branded mainline stuff.
In this case, though, we have a track record to go on. EG's work for PL is well-discussed around these parts, and enough people have bought the PL shoes that the quality is fairly assured. (Assuming that what folks receive really turns out to be EG PL shoes.)