Carmina shoes are fine and the back-and-forth about them is ridiculous. For one, as wonderful as EG shoes are (for example), I am not sure that every model they make is a winner. Overall, I don't think Carmina leather shoes are the equal of EG's, but they cost half as much. One can compare, for example, EG's Dover with Carmina's split toe, and Carmina does the split in the most banal fashion, similar to AS, rather than the more expensive hand sewn method (I think this is the difference, in any event EG's way is lovelier).
The main problem I have with Carmina, and this was true whether I visited either of their Madrid branches or their Paris shop, is that they never seemed to have the model I wanted, or themodels they had always had something about them that made them undesirable or less desirable. I bought two examples, I guess because I was itching to get Carminas: a suede derby with rubber not leather soles; a grain derby with lug sole and a strange contrasting stripe on the ankle. No matter what I wanted, they never seem to have exactly the model I was looking for. Some of their style decisions were questionable. Perhaps their new emarketing corrects this problem due to special orders. Assuming one can get what one needs, and one were starting a wardrobe, they are a superb foundation to any elegant shoe wardrobe.