I wanted to post one quick followup to the above message about country of origin.
David began researching this project a few months before I got involved. When he originally approached me about joining him, I was hesitant based solely on the country of origin. I was primarily nervous about how we would overcome this type of question, even if the quality was up to par.
David sent me an early sample, and I was blown away. The shoes exceeded my expectations not just of Laos/Taiwan manufacturing, but of manufacturing that I hadn't experienced before (not from the traditional cordwainer houses). I have handled almost all high-end brands of shoes, so I thought that I knew everything that was available. I was definitely surprised, and I immediately signed on to this project after receiving one sample. Since that sample, we have worked tirelessly to further increase quality and styling.
These shoes sure blow Made in USA Alden shoes out of the water in terms of finish and overall appearance. Good luck with the venture.
x2 None of my shoes look that nice after half as many wears Edit: Any thoughts of doing a wholecut in the future? I'm not really sure if that would be extra work/what all it would entail, just curious.
I don't like monks, but I have to admit, those on Spoo's little porkers look really good. They have a really classy and casual look - very very nice.
I hope you do really well with your new venture mate, and I will definitely support you with at least one purchase. You know my size (you got it wrong often enough - lol) let me know if there is a pair in my size mate.
Laos and Taiwan are not exactly on the same price point, I guess it could be a Taiwanese manufacture with a factory in Laos as well.
Textile/Shoe/Toy all have declined quite a bit in Taiwan after China start making them over a decade ago. Taiwan certainly have tried to go up market, and in some case successfully, but most resources were in electronics. No one really care if someone in Taiwan make decent shoe or clothe, guess it's a pleasant surprise. Maybe I will hunt down who it is when I go home the next time