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Gaziano & Girling Appreciation & Shoe Appreciation Theard - Page 797

post #11941 of 13260
Have to make my first G&G purchase blind (i.e. over the internet). 
 
Anyone familiar with Carmina know the relationship in sizing with Gaziano?
 
I'm 11UK in Carmina Inca last - would that be equivalent to a 11UK in G&G KN14 last (Antibes)?
 
If this is the wrong thread for sizing questions, I apologize. 
post #11942 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by VRaivio View Post

DW, are there books on the history of shoemaking with nice coverage on factory-made pairs of the 20th century? I'd like to know more about how they used to make 'em, and how GW machines have changed things. I'm a bit reluctant to think we could ever shod all feet in 2014 with only hand-welted and made pairs, because The Gentle Craft doesn't appeal like, say, careers in law or business. We need alternative methods for OK shoes like Loake.

No question...bespoke could never meet contemporary demand. No question that there is a place for RTW.

No question we need alternatives to HW. No question that we need an alternative to solid wood furniture. No question that there is a place for particle board in our living rooms and studies..

And no question that in a modern, short attention-span, consumer society, we need an acceptable alternative to objective quality.

But that doesn't mean that GY welting is, was, or should be associated with quality...not if we respect objective truth.

RTW and factory made shoes offer a subjective quality that changes with, and is wholly dependent upon, diminishing expectations, shifting public perception, and the uncertain prospects of any individual company in uncertain times.

I don't have any problem with any of that. I do have a problem with promoting the mediocre to the level of exemplary...or accepting and promoting the lowest common denominator...simply because we are too mentally lazy to look closely, accept objective reality, and speak the truth.

Put RTW and it's relative merits (relative to price and accessibility considerations and the profit motive) on an objective scale of quality and excellence and I'm fine with that.

--
Edited by DWFII - 5/14/14 at 8:36am
post #11943 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by rc121 View Post

several makers that compare in cost to GG hand welt their shoes, including Vass at half the cost...

Yes! That's correct. Even in the US (and I suspect many Western European countries) you can find bespoke makers who price their work well below what many cachet brand RTW makers charge.

To reiterate my point...in most cases, the consumer is paying more for blue sky and the cost of public relations hype, than the cost of production would warrant. .
post #11944 of 13260

IMO - Vass - even being hand welted...do not come anywhere near the quality of G&G...especially in terms of quality of materials and also stylistically...in terms of the lasts and the waists of the shoes.

post #11945 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rincon View Post


This is a really bad idea. Comparing the fit of oxford shoe to another oxford shoe is difficult enough, but to compare the fit of oxford shoe to the fit of loafer is very unwise. Even Carmina shoes do not fir the same across all of their lasts. I would strongly advise you against making a blind purchase.
post #11946 of 13260
What is the basis for comment? What vass shoe, last are you comparing to your GG?
post #11947 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rincon View Post


I'm uk11 in Carmina inca and take a G&G 11.5. Mh71/gg06 is a little wider than tg73/dg70 and will fit more like inca
post #11948 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCK1 View Post

IMO - Vass - even being hand welted...do not come anywhere near the quality of G&G...especially in terms of quality of materials and also stylistically...in terms of the lasts and the waists of the shoes.

Again, that's a subjective evaluation--an opinion (as you say) and one which you're entitled to.

But I don't know...and suspect not...that there is any objective evidence to support that opinion.

The construction technique is significantly superior and to some extent calf is calf and shell is shell.

If nothing else, the quality of an insole that is subject to HW has to be, by necessity, better than the quality of an insole that is GY'd.

"Stylistically"?...that's about as subjective as you can get.

--
post #11949 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCK1 View Post

IMO - Vass - even being hand welted...do not come anywhere near the quality of G&G...especially in terms of quality of materials and also stylistically...in terms of the lasts and the waists of the shoes.

Again, that's a subjective evaluation--an opinion (as you say) and one which you're entitled to.

But I don't know...and suspect not...that there is any objective evidence to support that opinion.

The construction technique is significantly superior and to some extent calf is calf and shell is shell.

If nothing else, the quality of an insole that is subject to HW has to be, by necessity, better than the quality of an insole that is GY'd.

"Stylistically"?...that's about as subjective as you can get.

--

 

Interesting stuff this. So, in your opinion, would you rank the quality of, say, Vass higher than G&G/EG/JL?

post #11950 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCK1 View Post

Yes, and which is no longer practical in a modern industrialized world with the exception in most cases being bespoke makers....in which case you pay thousands for this luxury.


I think you are holding G&G's ready-to-wear shoes up to too high of a standard...
They are nice...but they are by no means on the same level as bespoke.

They are made in a factory...not a shoemakers workshop...and they are readily available to the public.

They are still excellent quality shoes with many very desirable features (especially IMO in terms of aesthetics)...but they aren't meant to be bespoke shoes...

They are ready-to-wear...

Bespoke isn't always expensive unless you talking to either the top makers or the top luxury brands.

For example, Trickers charges £1,500, Vass charges €600, many Eastern European makers charges around €1,000, and some Italian makers charges less than €1,500. And some upstart Japanese makers have prices notably lower than the west end firms.

Not all bespoke work is done at JL, JLP, Berluti type prices.
post #11951 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by rc121 View Post


several makers that compare in cost to GG hand welt their shoes, including Vass at half the cost...

 

Are there others aside from Vass, StC and Meermin LM?  I'm not challenging your assertion so much as I'm interested in finding out.  The GYW vs HW discussion seems to pop up a lot, and while I buy into DFW's argument about the intrinsically superior nature of HW (both in terms of construction and tradition) it's also true that HW are more difficult to buy.

 

StC: 25% more than G&G and I don't like the style (my opinion, not imposing it on others)

LM: seem to have a host of deficiencies

Vass: getting harder to buy, and the easy ways (e.g. Ascot) aren't really less expensive than G&G which reduces the value prop; that said I'll be making my first Vass purchase over the next 6 months

 

 

It's also worth noting that all of these firms outsource to low-cost countries (Romania and China), which is what enables them to hand welt at a commercially viable price point in the first place.  This is not an argument against their quality per se, but there may be those who want to keep shoemaking alive in Britain, even if it means buying GYW.

post #11952 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Yes! That's correct. Even in the US (and I suspect many Western European countries) you can find bespoke makers who price their work well below what many cachet brand RTW makers charge.

To reiterate my point...in most cases, the consumer is paying more for blue sky and the cost of public relations hype, than the cost of production would warrant. .

 

I obviously haven't opened G&G's books, but there was a recent discussion on the production levels, marketing mix, and price points of G&G and C&J. The data was of course unverified but seemed to come from some Northamption insiders (it's the internet so take it with a grain of salt of course).

 

I don't have the figures off of the top of my head, but I remember dropping them into a spreadsheet with some very back-of-the-envelope assumptions about overhead (mainly factories and shops) and labor costs and thinking that damn, it must be tough for G&G to make any money.  C&J looked better but hardly a way to get rich. And that's based solely on the fundamentals of their business model, not thinking about PR etc.

post #11953 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by jssdc View Post

I obviously haven't opened G&G's books, but there was a recent discussion on the production levels, marketing mix, and price points of G&G and C&J. The data was of course unverified but seemed to come from some Northamption insiders (it's the internet so take it with a grain of salt of course).

I don't have the figures off of the top of my head, but I remember dropping them into a spreadsheet with some very back-of-the-envelope assumptions about overhead (mainly factories and shops) and labor costs and thinking that damn, it must be tough for G&G to make any money.  C&J looked better but hardly a way to get rich. And that's based solely on the fundamentals of their business model, not thinking about PR etc.

Think about the small independent bespoke maker...with zero brand name cachet. I can't hire a top ranked PR firm to promote my work. Or convince the unsuspecting that they are getting "good as." I can't afford to put out shabby work and either ignore the customer or re-market it as seconds.
post #11954 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by jssdc View Post

Are there others aside from Vass, StC and Meermin LM?  I'm not challenging your assertion so much as I'm interested in finding out.
I'm not an expert on this by any means, so I'll let others chime in on other makers they know of.
post #11955 of 13260
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Think about the small independent bespoke maker...with zero brand name cachet. I can't hire a top ranked PR firm to promote my work. Or convince the unsuspecting that they are getting "good as." I can't afford to put out shabby work and either ignore the customer or re-market it as seconds.

 

No doubt there! Wasn't trying make light of how difficult being an independent operator is in this market at all.  But I do think (or at least suspect, since I don't have a full data set to support a definitive conclusion) that the prices demanded by the makers we tend to discuss on SF are not grossly divorced from fundamentals.

 

The biggest driver limiting profitability, btw, seemed to be low production volumes, and the claim was that these were minimized for quality control reasons.  Obviously this still won't get them up to your level, but they're not screwing the consumer with high-production/high-marketing/low-quality approaches like the Pradas (just to pick a name from a hat) of the world.

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