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A Fine Pair of Shoes x Alfred Sargent MTO Thread - Page 59

post #871 of 995
Mimo,

You make some good points but:

1) Leffot's prices do not include city or state tax. That will be extra. Shipping from the UK is not really that much. I am not sure what customs duty would be.
2) Unless you buy from the shop, you will pay shipping. Leffot is an e-commerce business as well.
3) AFPoS has played an equally large role in elevating the AS Exclusive brand - more than Leffot from what I can see. Leffot hosted AS Handgrade MTO, but they only just started stocking the Exclusive line. AFPoS has been marketing it for a year at least.

As I have repeatedly said, the price is not so much the issue for me as the lack of buying options. Perhaps Leffot should work with AS to develop unique styles or make-ups. That is what they did when they worked with EG to design and offer the navy shell Westminster. That is why I think EG was right to deny selling that shoe separately from Leffot. The screw up in that story was at EG when they originally told the customer who was trying to get a deal and undercut Leffot that they would make the shoe as a private MTO.

If Leffot offered styles and make-ups unique to their shop, they would increase the product options and not be closing the market elsewhere. For example, they could do the Hunt, wingtip brogue as a suede/calf spectator, or as a pin grain/calf combo. Interesting and unique.

Instead they offer a limited selection of what, for the most part, AFPoS is already carrying and then sees AS deny customers access to other offerings in the AS line one might want.

Did Leffot request or demand this as a part of their decision to carry AS? I have no idea. I would think AS might have inquired with AFPoS as to what percentage of its AS sales are shipped abroad before making this decision. I would not be surprised to find that AFPoS sells more abroad than Leffot will sell to the domestic US market. The end result might be AFPoS cutting back and AS will lose orders.

And, finally, to Fiddler.....see? I am not having breakfast with Steven.
post #872 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvyfreedman View Post

I also think Leffot is getting a raw deal on this thread. I have been to the shop and the owner is very nice and open. He charges more than AFPOS does. That's the only fact I can confirm among the accusations. My issue when I was looking there was he only did MTO on the Handgrade line. That meant $1200+ for calf. I'm satisfied with the Exclusive line. Yes, I can buy what's in the shop for $700, and I think it's not an unreasonable price, but what if I want something unique. Then it's almost twice the price. And, when I was there I don't think he stocked anything made to Exclusive standards, only Handgrade.

Leffot is a very impressive shop. EG, G&G, St. Crispin, Corthay, Alden. My concern when I was there was that my price point is $400-700 for shoes. That left me with only Alden. Every other brand carried that I looked at were $1100+. By now stocking more AS Exclusives he's filling that price point gap between Alden and the European makers. I applaud him for adding those shoes. At the time I was there, even the AS Moore, which is normally part of the Exclusive line was stocked as a Handgrade quality. It's the opposite of the MTO that AFPOS has been doing for us, making the Miller and Blake from the Handgrade line to Exclusive standards. I think Leffot now stocking true Exclusives is a step in the right direction.

I would love to see AS expand its US distribution. Perhaps Sky Valet, my local purveyor, is an option. I'd definitely buy there over anywhere else b/c I can see all of the models and try them on. I've bought my C&J and Alden there because I support local shops. But for custom shoes that can't be purchased elsewhere (including some shoes that just aren't stocked locally) I'm also all for internet sales including international.

My hope is that AS expands its US distribution - which in turn will lower prices here; and AFPOS can continue to sell us through its MTO programme the Exclusive level shoes that we design ourselves. That would be the best of both worlds.

I could be wrong, but I think you are confused as to the AS Exclusive/Handgrade designation.

Handgrade is the top line. More refined waist treatment, different styles and different lasts than the Exclusive. I think Leffot is carrying the Exclusive line, Exclusive styles, made on Exclusive lasts, to Exclusive standards.

What we did at AFPoS was to take a Handgrade style (the Miller boot) and have it made on an exclusive last (724 I think) to exclusive standards, with the added perk of having it done in shell.

The AS Exclusive you buy at Leffot will, I think, be exactly the same as the exclusive you will buy (or used to be able to buy) at AFPoS. Any other style you see stocked at AFPoS, you will not be able to purchase. Perhaps, Leffot can source those if requested? Perhaps, they could order from AFPoS and split the profit? I have no idea.

What I see here is a failure of imagination on the part of Leffot. Instead of responding to the world of business competition creatively (how can I offer an AS exclusive line that is interesting and attract customers) the solution was to offer nothing new and rely on the new prohibition of buying AS from other sources as the way to secure the market.

As I have written, I do not know whether Leffot requested this arrangement. However, the FACT is that AFPoS has been told by AS they can't ship to the US.
post #873 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrydog View Post

I could be wrong, but I think you are confused as to the AS Exclusive/Handgrade designation.

Handgrade is the top line. More refined waist treatment, different styles and different lasts than the Exclusive. I think Leffot is carrying the Exclusive line, Exclusive styles, made on Exclusive lasts, to Exclusive standards.

What we did at AFPoS was to take a Handgrade style (the Miller boot) and have it made on an exclusive last (724 I think) to exclusive standards, with the added perk of having it done in shell.

The AS Exclusive you buy at Leffot will, I think, be exactly the same as the exclusive you will buy (or used to be able to buy) at AFPoS. Any other style you see stocked at AFPoS, you will not be able to purchase. Perhaps, Leffot can source those if requested? Perhaps, they could order from AFPoS and split the profit? I have no idea.

What I see here is a failure of imagination on the part of Leffot. Instead of responding to the world of business competition creatively (how can I offer an AS exclusive line that is interesting and attract customers) the solution was to offer nothing new and rely on the new prohibition of buying AS from other sources as the way to secure the market.

As I have written, I do not know whether Leffot requested this arrangement. However, the FACT is that AFPoS has been told by AS they can't ship to the US.

I have the designations correct. And, as I said, when I was there, even those designs from the Exclusive collection like the Moore were made to handgrade standards, meaning $1100+.

And, I also said that AFPOS was doing the opposite for us- taking Handgrade designs and applying Exclusive standards. I said I hope that could continue in spite of the Exclusive line not available for shipping.

Recently, Leffot has filled the price whole between Alden and AS/EG/G&G, etc and have added the Exclusive line to the Exclusive standards.

I'm not sure how much clearer I could have been.

That said, I think Leffot is very creative. But, it's hard to customize the Exclusive line rather than offer the standard shoes as stock. You're talking stock, not all MTO.
post #874 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvyfreedman View Post

I have the designations correct. And, as I said, when I was there, even those designs from the Exclusive collection like the Moore were made to handgrade standards, meaning $1100+.



That said, I think Leffot is very creative. But, it's hard to customize the Exclusive line rather than offer the standard shoes as stock. You're talking stock, not all MTO.

Yes and it was made on an handgrade last. I think when you were there the exclusive line had not yet really come out. The Moore is now an exclusive stock style, made on the 724 last to exclusive standards (which is BELOW the MTO Handgrade line) I remember being quite excited when i saw the Moore drop significantly in price. It was when I looked more closely that I saw they had launched a line below handgrade. When you say Leffot is now stocking "true exclusives" I have no idea what you mean. The Moore may have orginated as a handgrade, but it has moved down into the exclusive line. To suggest that Leffot is offering some thing special in the exclusive line is I think wrong. It is the same shoe being offered at AFPoS. If it isn't and Steven has had AS produce the shoe to a higher standard, I would think he would say so. That would also remove the need for the protective export ban because you wouldn't be able to get that shoe at any other place than Leffot

I can't see your reasoning on wahy developing a more unique offering would be so hard..

Why? AFPoS has done unique make-ups for their line - witness the two suede calf double monks. Are you suggesting that AS makes a bunch of Moore in Chestnut and then goes to try and market them to vendors? I would think vendors place an order for a style and size run and then the shoes are made in response to that order.

So it would really be quite easy for a vendor to request slight modifications (leather color/type etc). I mean you are probably talking about at least twenty pair being ordered. We were able to do a special order with six!
post #875 of 995
There sure is a lot of slamming of Leffot based on speculation.
post #876 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by zippyh View Post

There sure is a lot of slamming of Leffot based on speculation.

I have made no claim to know for a fact that AS policy was in deference to Leffot. Others opined that AS was acting to protect US vendors and to my knowledge Leffot is the main purveyor of AS exclusive.

I have shopped at Leffot and have been pleased with their service and their products. I defended them up and down months ago in the long debate over EG monks and a guy trying to do an end run around Leffot to buy the same shoe from EG. I do wish they would maintain a greater range of sizes in stock; visiting the store is kind of like going to a showroom....lots to see, little in my size. Do a quick product search of his online site and see if you reach a different conclusion. I can't see why it would be different from going into the store.

Scurvy,

I think we can just agree to disagree on this one. I have shopped at Leffot. Steven has been very nice. I have been frustrated with the relatively limited options in my size UK9.5/US10.5. I'd love to to do some of the MTO events but they are usually on weekdays and short of skipping work ( am an hour and a half outside the city) can't get in for them.

Would love to purchase St. Crispins but the styles he stocked didn't grab me. I will probably get the Aubercy button boot which he seems to keep relatively stocked (either that or they don't sell.)

My ideal would be to see Leffot and AFPoS better coordinate their offering to allow both to prosper and allow free access to all.

Any idea whether AS is allowing Leffot to ship outside the US? Fiddler, why don't you place an order of an AS exclusive and see what happens? crazy.gif
post #877 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrydog View Post


Fiddler, why don't you place an order of an AS exclusive and see what happens? crazy.gif

 

If afpos wont ship and I really want something I will order it through Borderlinx. 

Actually, WTF...why cant AFPOS just not ship to USA to appease whoever....and continue to ship everywhere  else?

post #878 of 995
There are a lot of opinions flying around and that is understandable.
This is a thread about AFPoS & AS.

I happened to like AS and I love to continue buying them from AFPoS if I can.
If they continue their MTO program, I will support them aas well.

Beeing a size 13, Leffot snuffed me and chose not to work with me and I spent six figures on shoes last year. G&G, EG, AS, and Vass, etc. Yes I am a shoe junkie and I am proud of it. That is my only vice in life.

Help support online sellers so we all have a wider choice. Do not support anyone that is trying to suppress fair competition and institute a trade restriction.

OK I said my peace.
post #879 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimo View Post

Seems to me that Leffot are getting some harsh press here.  I should point out at this stage that I've never bought either from them or from AFPOS, and my only AS shoes came from Yoox (who are assholes).

 

First of all, the apparent price difference looks worse than it is: if you're in the US, then you have to add shipping and possibly import duties to the price.  Leffot have already paid the shipping and the duties.  They also have to add 10% NY sales tax.  Once those things are taken into account, the difference might be pretty small.  Second, they might not get the same price wholesale from AS - nobody will ever know.  AFPOS have no competing shoes at the same price point and might get a better rate.  Leffot, by offering several brands in that range, might lose out on some wholesale discounts.  That would not be unusual.  

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 

But third, and this is a biggie too, Leffot is a shop.  With rent, heating and cleaning bills, property taxes, and someone who has to be there all the time to take an interest in your feet.  The overheads are massive compared to an internet-only business that takes a PC in the living room, and flexible working hours.  No disrespect is intended to AFPOS - they clearly offer a fine product and a very helpful service.  I buy from other online retailers all the time, and service counts.  But there is a clear, qualitative difference in the retail service if you can physically try on a range of shoes.  All in all, then, accusing Leffot of charging unfair prices is probably a bit harsh.

 

Harsher still is to call them "predatory" for not allowing their customers to circumvent them and go direct to a wholesaler - or an agent from another market.  When you take an agency (and I have some myself in another business), you normally have three specific points that it all comes down to: 1. How long - normally a fixed term with some option to renew at intervals if everyone's happy.  2. Where - a fixed geographical or customer base.  It's unusual to take a distribution agreement that covers the whole world, even in a less formal wholesale arrangement.  And 3. What - the specific products or services you will sell, that might not include the principal's entire range.  

 

As a fellow small businessman, it sounds to me like Leffot and AS are getting a beating for not very much here.  Somebody put his balls and probably his house on the line, and invested his money and his time in opening an expensive shop, employing people, signing up for a bunch of hideous bills and probably loans, and persuading a collection of find shoemakers to supply through him.  He did it.  For real, at his own risk, in order to make something beautiful and bring these products to the US for you to hold in your hands.  Forgive the man for wanting to get paid, and not wanting someone else to take a free ride on his efforts and undercut him because they took a less customer-focused and therefore cheaper business model.  Likewise, AS should be commended for not screwing over a man who has invested in physically bringing their products to a new market. 

 

There is a serious point about where to buy outside the EU or US.  Clearly, AS need to spell out where their authorised re-sellers are for any given market - their fancy website gives no details on this important point, which is odd.  But I'm sure either AFPOS or Leffot would be happy to find out and tell SF-ers-of-Asia like myself, and will do so in due course.  It sounds to me like they've worked this first issue out in a gentlemanly manner, and I'm sure either or both of them will be able to clarify this shortly.

 

 

 

Well deserved harsh press.

 

Import duty for dress shoes is ~8.5%.  Import VAT for shoes is 0%.  Shipping cost is much less than 5%. vs.

 

Import SRP mark-up is ~35% for AS and ~20% for G&G.  Excluding VAT and sales tax.

 

Personally, I don't like to pay SRP mark-ups at 35% and I don't like to pay any local sales tax (8.75% for SF).

 

Thus, no AS for me (had bad dealing with Chay).  And I would rather wait for Barney's sales for G&G.

post #880 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

LOL @ Leffot/AS drama.

BTW, I think On the Fly/Wingtip in SF carries AS, so Leffot isn't the only crook in town.

Haaaaaa
post #881 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvyfreedman View Post

I think that makes 3. Need 3 more brave souls.

In the light of recent unpleasant developments, anybody else interested in MTO?
post #882 of 995
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrey View Post

In the light of recent unpleasant developments, anybody else interested in MTO?

Which one are you doing?
post #883 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrey View Post

If Keats in Oxblood with a matching suede throat - count me in! I would love to get those!

I understand we have 3 for this one. Please let's get 3 more!
post #884 of 995
post #885 of 995
Thread Starter 
MTO Millers today:
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