Hi guys, my first post here. I decided to make use of the Pediwear free shoe tree offer and their excellent service to order a few pairs of Alfred Sargents.
I really like the shape of the shoes, especially with their slim waists that are usually available on top tier hand grade shoes. When I read from the shoe snob that Herring has released their own AS line, I bought a pair of Drake.
While there are some negative comments on AS diverting their resources to deliver Herring’s line, I personally don’t see that is a bad financial decision for AS. I for one, wanted for a pair of capped toe oxfords, Pendle in AS Handgrade MTO line, however, I can’t justify the extra 250 pounds and weeks of waiting for a pair of shoes.
So when I saw the Herring Drake in Oxblood, I bought it straight away, it’s just a Pendle in Herring 1966 last. AS isn’t the only company that does private lines, and may be for them, if they can out supply 2 or 3 pairs of RTW to each pair of MTO, it’s more profitable, and one would also think private lines’ demand be more stable and easy to manage and forecast.
From my point of view, it’s been a great success for AS since they revamped their structure and moved up market where the real money can be made. Their Exclusive Line with bevelled waist and channelled sole is a grade above all benchgrade shoes from Church’s, Cheaney, Crockett and Jones, Trickers (those shoes around 300 pounds; similar to CJ handgrade (400 to 500 pounds), below the John Lobbs, Edward Greens, G & G.
Reading from Uptowndandy’s blog, Chay Cooper said “AS Exclusive was launched after the Handgrade line with the remit to become the best ready to wear English made shoes whilst being more affordable than the Handgrade line”.
From my limited research before making the purchase, CJ handgrade takes 6 to 8 weeks from ordering to delivering, (I am from Australia, so online is the only option), so it’s not really RTW, that leaves AS Exclusive as the only line that is bordering handgrade, or entry level handgrade (Justin The Shoe Snob wrote on his post on Herring 1966 collection “this brings us to their new venture into the world of handgrade shoes with their new collaboration with Alfred Sargent”) that is readily available in all sizes from various online stores, no email special orders, just order with click-click. So AS found itself an exclusive niche market that it should concentrate its resources on.
Sunday Morning Shoe polish
My humble AS collection
From left to right: 109, 99, 1966, 724