Originally Posted by Mr. Moo
I've said this before, but most of these artisinal brands are horribly overpriced. A shoe from Edward Green is $1200... and it has to be dead on perfect with stitching, color, no leather deformities, per-wrinkling, etc. The leather itself must be perfect to start with - no scars, no color defects, etc. In other words, there is a high price to pay for a maker of fine shoes to get the best quality leather.
A1923, for example, does not have to go to such extremes. Their shoes are all mostly distressed/wrinkled, etc. before they are in the consumers' hands, so the leather does not have to be free of visual defects/blemishes. Scars, pits, stains that do not affect the durability of the leather can be left because they will be covered with dyes and other treatments. Yet, A1923 retails for $2k+, CCP is $2k+, etc. and, let's face it, those shoes - construction wise (attachment of sole/welt) is the same as the Edward Green, but the leather treatment itself isn't anywhere near EG level - because it does not have to be due to the styling. So why are they are 2x the price of a shoe that is much harder to produce correctly? It's much more difficult to make a perfect shoe than a "deliberately" destroyed shoe.
Oooh, so problematic. We do not live in the world of forms, sadly. Perfection is rather context-dependent, don't you think?
Most of the "artisinal" brands you've mentioned - two, rather; A1923 and CCP - are pretty much focused solely on the material, and this is reflected both in conversations with the designers (for whatever worth you place on those) and through the styling and presentation of the shoe. Now, I don't own any CCP (although I have a pair of A1923 that are very impressive in most aspects), although any discussion with Fuuma or even SZ's Christian - or, in fact, a browse through SZ's CCP thread - will suggest that his pursuit of a singular (and singularly unforgiving) silhouette and a linked aesthetic is both a pursuit of perfection and rather inescapable.
Now, obviously, you've picked and chosen two specific brands and left out many others, some of which are more "distressed" or less "distressed" - but what it sounds like to me is that you're focused on the shape - and the shape you're used to, despit your forays into the bizarre, is specifically an MC style (in the SF lexicon, at least). When you want the perfect leather for a "destroyed" boot, it's obviously not going to be the same kind of leather as you'd use for an EG shoe, as nice as they may be. Nor is the shape going to be similar. Everyone here has read the arguments about price v. construction a thousand times, and if we even approach it I'm sure Hendrix will blow a gasket. I believe it's worth noting that - to my knowledge at least - A1923 is made by a single pair of hands (potentially a couple pairs? Anyone); every shoe. All of these people are people who know how to make shoes. For those of us - myself most definitely included - who don't have the chance to go look at CCP, A1923, Layer-O, KKA, etc. in person, it all becomes a bit abstract, yes - but certainly no more abstract than a pair of EGs.
So, tldr; I'm not entirely sure what your argument is - that you don't like the treatments on most of these leathers? If so, don't buy the boots. That you don't like the non-traditional shape? If so, don't buy the boots. If you're in pursuit of the "perfect" destroyed boot, I'm not sure why anyone would be using Edward Green as a jumping-off point. And construction as the sole judge of a shoe's worth is definitely not something that I subscribe to; nor, I think, do most denizens of the SWD underverse. But, just so you know, I think it's all too expensive as well. Particularly Guidi, which has always seemed to me the Allen Edmonds of the SZ world - although there are many models I lust after. Well, two. But still.