or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Gaziano & Girling Appreciation & Shoe Appreciation Thread (including reviews, purchases, pictures, etc...)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Gaziano & Girling Appreciation & Shoe Appreciation Thread (including reviews, purchases, pictures, etc...) - Page 798

post #11956 of 21777
Quote:
Originally Posted by rc121 View Post


I'm not an expert on this by any means, so I'll let others chime in on other makers they know of.

 

Gotcha.  Based on your original post ("several makers...") I assumed you had some in mind - I'd love to hear of some more than the three I can think of.

post #11957 of 21777
The thing I keep coming back to in all these discussions is the notion that every reason/rationale that a maker puts forward for GY construction (or leatherboard or celastic or any technique or material that takes the work away from best practices) is also a justification for the lowest common denominator.

Why does a maker choose to go from HW to GY? It's not...let's be honest...to improve quality. It's entirely and unconditionally to address profit margins--to speed up output. It's to cut the cost of raw materials. To reduce or eliminate the wages paid to skilled makers and/or to train skilled workers. And let's not forget pensions.

The move to factory work also obviates the need for judgement or responsibility. No one has to exercise judgement, or have their judgment compared to that of another employee much less to be personally subject to judgement. Everyone is equal, no superlatives or exceptional skills, no harm no foul, no blame--lowest common denominator.

In our consumer driven society, businesses cannot afford to view their workers as people. that's why so many businesses are getting rid of pensions. Or shutting the door to unions. The worker is seen as an adjunct to the machine...interchangeable, replaceable. And you dern sure don't pay pensions to machines.

That's the devil's deal we, as a society, have made to ensure affordability and accessibility....no one standing higher than anyone else.

The ironic thing is that even though, for most of us, our souls weren't part of the bargain, they are still forfeit. They have to be for us to defend the indefensible. To turn objective truth on its head, make night into day, right into wrong. To elevate mediocre and forget/ignore/dismiss real, observeable quality. They have to be for us to abjure excellence, and knowledge and passion in favour of affordability, conventionality...the bogus and banal.

--
Edited by DWFII - 5/14/14 at 12:06pm
post #11958 of 21777
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.

 

   my experience with vass - even though it's only a single pair to date - causes me to take the counter position

   I find vass fit to be only a cat hair below my St Crispin shoes or boots. for me, that's a major statement as St C

   is my holy grail fit

 

   while the coloring is a little 'flat', it lends itself to some personal attention with wax & polish

   that I'm just not opposed to

 

   the leather quality at least equals anything I've seen from G&G whether they are off the shelf or mto and is

   exceeded only by an EG boot I have

 

   I don't intend to come across as 'bashing' G&G either. I have a few, another on the way and will add an

   English grain at some point in the future. They are all to be enjoyed


Edited by SoGent - 5/14/14 at 6:45pm
post #11959 of 21777

^^ Agreed.  Styles and models are a matter of taste, and Vass's leather is lovely - they just don't go for the highly polished finish that most RTW makers do.  Even the comparison about the fiddled waist I find a little redundant, it's just a matter of preference again.  What I like about my Vass is that they somehow feel handmade without being at all imprecise.  I find the last shapes are also appealingly natural-looking.  But that's my taste.

 

I also think G&G are beautiful.  Having been in their new store only last week, they are everything I would have expected, and the shoes I tried on felt wonderful.  In principle, I'd buy G&G for the purely subjective reason that I find a lot of their shoes extremely pretty.  That, to me, is a good reason.  But I wouldn't buy them because they're "better" than Vass or Kielman or someone else.  Empirically, in some ways, they're not.  Neither are John Lobb or Edward Green.  But they all make beautiful shoes that I'd like to wear.

 

In the end, I didn't buy the G&G, because I ordered two pairs of Vass instead.  In a straight fight, I wanted to spend my money that way.  I will probably keep my eyes open for G&G deals and end up with some eventually - if my PayPal account had been working I would have been all over Spoo's mega-sale.  As it stands, though, the value proposition doesn't quite weigh up for me at full price.  But as what we love and what we'll pay for it is subjective, it's not unreasonable that it should for others.

post #11960 of 21777
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoGent View Post

   my experience with vass - even though it's only a single pair to date - causes me to take the counter position
   I find vass fit to be only a cat hair below my St Crispin shoes or boots. for me, that's a major statement as St C
   is my holy grail fit

   while the coloring is a little 'flat', it lends itself to some personal attention with wax & polish
   that I'm just not opposed to

   the leather quality at least equals anything I've seen from G&G whether they are off the shelf or mto and is
   exceeded only by an EG boot I have

You know, i was quite impressed with the only pair of VASS that i handled as well.

The leather was a very supple box calf, best i have seen. Personally, it was only a shade lower than the GG crust in feel and appearance. There was some incredible shaping in the VASS heel and quarters, that i will admit contoured more than my GG's, and of course the HL construction is a plus as well.

Like Mino, i buy GG shoes because i love the styling. Aesthetically, they are extremely elegant shoes, and they feel quite well for me.

In the end, fit is paramount (as the SF saying goes). My only pair of VASS did not fit me well, so off it goes, while i continue to experiment (and lose money). So i continue to give GG some of my business, while looking into other brands that will work for me as well.
post #11961 of 21777
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

In our consumer driven society, businesses cannot afford to view their workers as people. that's why so many businesses are getting rid of pensions. Or shutting the door to unions. The worker is seen as an adjunct to the machine...interchangeable, replaceable. And you dern sure don't pay pensions to machines.
 

As someone with two business degrees, I can't really agree with that (and I usually tend to agree with you). A major portion of both degrees was dedicated to the study of people, their needs and strong people processes within a firm.

 

You may see a lot of this, but it is not a human attitude rather than a business one. Particularly in the US many circles of business people are unhappy with lack of skill retention domestically. It has made us very uncompetitive. Much of this was driven by consumer demand.

 

Unions and pensions are another story, with very good rational for moving past both. I do not want to side track this into a debate on global economics, however :).

 

Still for the untrained eye they must make decisions without in depth knowledge. The spread of GYW may not be a bad thing for hand welting either. Having first learned that there was a discernable difference in shoe construction is what got me interested and to do my research. Four years later I own multiple pair of hand welted shoes.

post #11962 of 21777
I thoughts are exactly as Mimo, well said! A lot of my shoes I buy for looks, and even just brand name. But I am turning more to Vass due to the reasons of flexibility and price, and the reasons mentioned above.

@JubeiSpiegel, I said this before and will say it again, I am confident if you select the F last in Wide fitting, your problem with your toes will go away; provided that there isn't much other areas of misfit.
post #11963 of 21777
Quote:
Originally Posted by VRaivio View Post

...what's funny about all this nitpickery, and I'm guilty too, is how Joe and Jane Normal will never see any of the blemishes and spots we do. They don't care, they'll look at our face when talking with us, or they'll merely say that someone has nice shoes or cute colour on them. We really do have too high hopes for RTW or too much idle time to talk about spots and such on a style forum. I can understand this with bespoke dudes, but it's more humourous with factory-made goods -- and yes, I'm guilty too. Could we worse though, we could be talking Cole Haans here. Well, plenty of trouble and time would be saved if a maker would send along a load of photos of the finished piece, and the customer could zoom in and ask for corrections and such before anything is shipped. I'm about to end this rant with a full stop.

Since we're having a moment of self-reflection...

 

I have no desire to try and make excuses for it, equally I have no intention of telling anyone what these shoes cost.  Stated plainly, I've got a ridiculous and frankly, irrational interest in particularly high priced shoes.  It could have come about due to marketing or it could be boredom; however, I earn money to spend it and I think they look great and enjoy wearing them--high quality priced shoes.  

 

The only problem is (occasionally) the higher value items seem to feed an "unsatisfaction-cycle" where nothing ever really meets your expectations so the only way to overcome the disappointment is to buy the more expensive one next time, in the hopes that one will satisfy you and be perfect. (Mild exaggeration.) 

post #11964 of 21777
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchapiro View Post

As someone with two business degrees, I can't really agree with that (and I usually tend to agree with you). A major portion of both degrees was dedicated to the study of people, their needs and strong people processes within a firm.

I hope you didn't disagree too vigourously with the rest of my post if only because the remarks you quoted were probably the least significant or important of my remarks.

That said, I admit that I don't have degrees in business...perhaps being in business for 40+ years counts for something?...nor do I have or share your perspective. And maybe that's to be expected, maybe it's even a good thing.

FWIW, however, I can perhaps give you another perceptive that you may not naturally have access to--the perspective of someone who is in that class of people who see things from a more immediate point of view. Who live from paltry paycheck to paltry paycheck and who are always at risk of being replaced by a machine. Or "downsized." Whose prospects for advancement, much less personal growth, have gone from small to none over the last hundred years. Whose chances of steady, reliable employment, esp at one firm, for the entirety of their working lives is nil.

From that perspective, the issue of skill retention seems quite simple...yet contrary to most business practices, as well as what is observed and what the world looks like from that level. Words and theory mean nothing to the working man. Actions is what counts. If skill retention is so important then businessmen would stop looking for ways to discount skill, and replace it with cheaper, faster, more efficient.

If skill retention is such an important, even lamentable, issue then the replacement of a half dozen hand inseamers by a GY welting machine would never occur or be an issue. And all that we are talking bout is moot. Even if "skill retention" is experiencing a revival of sorts, even if businesses are suddenly "getting religion," as who should say, it is too late. The machines are in place and the old men gone.

Of course that's not part of what they teach you in business school (I attended in college but it was not for me). The perspective of the working class is not in the curricula, I suspect.
Quote:
Unions and pensions are another story, with very good rational for moving past both.

None of which means anything to the working man, I'm afraid.

Quote:
The spread of GYW may not be a bad thing for hand welting either. Having first learned that there was a discernable difference in shoe construction is what got me interested and to do my research. Four years later I own multiple pair of hand welted shoes.

I'm glad that you came into the light but I suspect it was more a case of serendipity than cause and effect. Any intelligent, curious, discriminating person will recognize quality sooner or later.

But the number of people even here who recognize...and more importantly, care about... the merits of HW relative to the deficiencies of GY are small, limited and not widely embraced esp. in the business community. There are no PR firms or deep pockets eager promote HW or to extol its virtues. And while the scarcity, prestige and uniqueness of HW may seem to add a certain glamour (in the ancient sense) to your shoes, it also heralds the permanent loss of those skills and the knowledge...not to mention the essential ancillary materials and tools. The odds that 50 years from now HW will be a lost art, are closer to 100% than fifty fifty.

--
Edited by DWFII - 5/14/14 at 8:51pm
post #11965 of 21777
I find the last several posts very disturbing. Someone please post some brand whoring comments and sponsors pictures.
post #11966 of 21777


post #11967 of 21777
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchapiro View Post

As someone with two business degrees, I can't really agree with that (and I usually tend to agree with you). A major portion of both degrees was dedicated to the study of people, their needs and strong people processes within a firm.

You may see a lot of this, but it is not a human attitude rather than a business one. Particularly in the US many circles of business people are unhappy with lack of skill retention domestically. It has made us very uncompetitive. Much of this was driven by consumer demand.

Unions and pensions are another story, with very good rational for moving past both. I do not want to side track this into a debate on global economics, however smile.gif.

Still for the untrained eye they must make decisions without in depth knowledge. The spread of GYW may not be a bad thing for hand welting either. Having first learned that there was a discernable difference in shoe construction is what got me interested and to do my research. Four years later I own multiple pair of hand welted shoes.

+1 agree completely.
post #11968 of 21777
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I hope you didn't disagree too vigourously with the rest of my post if only because the remarks you quoted were probably the least significant or important of my remarks.

--

Yes very true, and I agree with everything else you have said. You were, in fact, the person who first explained hand welting to me. Would I ever notice the difference otherwise? Probably not for years until my shoes were in need of repair, if even then.

 

I agree to the perspective of the working man. The problem is that the world changed (especially when you added over two billion to the global labor force). Things had to change. Looking at Germany what America needed to keep manufacturing was flexible skills (ex. milling). It is a shame, but when you add that many people you also must accept that everyone now gets a smaller piece of the pie. New business graduates are far worse off than their peers were many years ago. Even those in the middle tier of business have fared no better, although significant stock and home portfolio gains have helped them maintain their standards of living. Now if the working man actually understands this is somewhat inconsequential to the forces at work.

 

Anyway in regards to shoes, at this level I really consider them a luxury. In part I am paying to support the craft, not just for the product. Given the financial resources at some point I am sure I will end up with a G&G MTO and hopefully a pair of yours.

post #11969 of 21777

Not taking into account "the working man", pensions, labor conflicts, globalization, market economics, ignorant consumers etc etc, are you all saying that in general, shoes like Vass are of better quality than the likes of ie G&G/EG/JL, just because of the welt construction? Is the conclusion that in every other objective aspect, Vass and the others are, at least, at the same level?? If so, then this is certainly news to me...

post #11970 of 21777
DWFII has a good point, there are diminishing marginal returns for highly priced ready to wear shoes and at the prices charged by some makers there should be no excuse for workmanship that is anything but first class whatever the method of construction.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Gaziano & Girling Appreciation & Shoe Appreciation Thread (including reviews, purchases, pictures, etc...)