Here is the relevant portion of an AAAC thread from 2006 regarding Carmina shoes:
March 24th, 2006, 16:10
For some pictures of a pair I got in Paris in November 2004, look here (at the heavier brogue; the captoe is an Aubercy which cost nearly 2 1/2 times as much).
March 24th, 2006, 18:51
Mr. Pollock, as one of the true shoe connoiseurs on these fora and owner of more shoes than the Canadian army, how do you feel the Carmina shoes stack up against the usual RTW high-end suspects--EG, JLobb, Vass, et al.? I guess I'm wondering about quality of leather, quality of workmanship, style, comfort, handwork touches, etc.
March 24th, 2006, 21:36
I think I would rate basic Carminas pictured herein just a 1/2 notch below C&J handgrades and Grenson Masterpieces and about a 1/2 notch above Alden, Peal and C&J benchmades. The high toecap is similiar to Vass.
However, the "naked" Carmina I bought last November, with the one-week long "special" antiquing thereafter applied thereto by the shop, was as unique and thrilling a Parisian experience as was eight days of shopping and dining with Ernest and Katia-really unique and well worth twice the 350 Euro price. The leather and construction may not quite be up to EG or J&M Handmade quality, but the finish is so spectacular that owing a pair should be a forum requirement to be a member of the "super forum" league. I know that AlanC posted pictures of them for me on one of the forums for me, but I cannot find them.
I'm not sure how a shoe could be considered below grenson masterpieces (Mr. Pollock's opinion) but on par with EG. Although, as I sad earlier, I suppose the quality could have gotten a litte better in the last 5 years. . .