Carlos Santos Shoes - Feedback & Appreciation
Carlos Santos is a brand by Portugese shoe maker Zarco lda. Apperently, it's the name of their CEO. The previous brand used to be Mack James. According to Internet rumours, the French brand Loding belongs to the company as well.
Here is a great article written by a spanish blogger. Hope you can translate the text.
The Eternal Next Big Thing ?
Average price : $455
Carlos Santos is an esteemed Portuguese shoemaker who makes a vast amount of shoes for other brands, but also has his own collection sold under his own name, which never really made it big because of too much marketing chaos.
Being among the first to support Carlos a few years ago, we anticipated nothing short of a glorious future for his company, given the quality of his work and the notable aesthetics of his shoes. However, weak strategy and questionable marketing decisions have challenged the company’s development, leaving us to wonder if Carlos Santos will one day reach his full commercial potential.
Carlos Santos’ shoes are excellent, but distribution logistics are caught up in an artistic blur that has resulted in sheer disorganization. Santos’ shoes used to have a physical retail presence at Marc Guyot in Paris, but it is now become nigh impossible to get one’s hands (or feet) on a pair of CS – particularly under his own name.
His ever-changing lines and collections make little sense ; what happened to the superb “Handcrafted” range, that has suddenly disappeared from the brand’s website ? And what about the prices, that shuffle around, depending on which website you’re on ?
Fortunately, for those of you living in Paris or visiting, it’s still possible to find a few models of Carlos Santos with a nice patina at JM Legazel, whose “Patina Bar” is installed in the shopping gallery of the Palais des Congrès de Paris.
Logistics aside, Carlos Santos produces exceptionally beautiful shoes—if only we could find them without having to become scavengers.
++ : Great overall quality, classic designs, properly made.
— : Incoherent strategy (if any), obscure distribution pattern, esoteric pricing.
It corresponds to what I have heard about the company's chaotic administration.
I did see the shoes once (shown by the agent) at a German retailer, who was considering buying the collection. (They did not, in the end.)
Hopefully the company has solved their problems by now, otherwise the guys in Stockholm might jump out of the Edward Green frying pan into the Carlos Santos fire.
It took around four years since the first message, but Carlos Santos has finally landed on Styleforum (and Sweden as well).
@Leaves likely has more info on the construction and materials?
This company shares much more info in this articles (just with pics) than most of the Northamptonshire/Almansa shoemakers. I hope you can translate the article with gloogle?.
Currently most of these good benchgrade GY shoemakers (250-450 USD) use similar materials and construction methods; patinas, lasts, special models and combos, fiddle and beveled waist, blind outsoles and QC can make the difference for shoeaficionados.
Carlos Santos has a very competitive quality/price ratio compare to others, especially english makers. People at the other side of the Pyrenees do not know how many good shoes are being produce here for well known international brands.; expertise is there, we produce great materials and there are quite a few good taneries and raw materials.
I wish Carlos Santos and Skoak all the best.
I believe (again an internet rumour), the Carlos Santos collection is designed by
dandy extraodinaire Marc Guyot
If is designed by him, the doesn´t deserves to be on Styleforum or on any serious place devoted to dressing properly but only on other sections, and if is allegedly shilled by the frequent bloggers I expose all the time by saying things as;
the famous Roman styled from Rome, Brioni, is Neapolitan ( he said so for real),
or that Luca Rubinacci is tailor,
or that Lino Ilelucci was also Neapolitan (that blogger said so and I got the screenshots stored), you can read my mind about.
On the same blog you can read surreal and clueless things as;
I recommend red shoes for office, yes red as Ronald McDonald does (not burgundy). Never seen that on any office and hope any ever did. My favorite color is new black, what color is that? He misunderstands the sentence brown is the new black. Yes, a blogger.
But the worst of it is that he dared to write a book about how to dress and some people (only a few) takes him seriously.
The French one didn´t got the dignity to publish what I wrote as shirtmaker on his article about shirts with bs as ;
A good shirt has unfused collars ( personal taste that doesn´t gives higher quality and are totally off for business)
A good shirt has to have the last buttonhole horizontal ( why, because he says so?, then why not diagonal then?)
When I translated into Italian his article and forwarded to the best Neapolitan shirtmaking houses and high tailoring schools, the laughs about this Parisian were listened on Hawai.
Normal this bloggers are insulting me all the time, because I expose all their lies all the time to help innocent people (victms) to take them seriously, as any of the rest or the industry does.
Should be a law that would prevent fake articles to be published and those pages with lies taken down by law.
Edited by SartodiNapoli - 2/6/16 at 3:05pm
I won't comment further on an earlier post that derails into some kind of bashing of people that have little or no relevance or connection to Carlos Santos. It's off topic in my humble opinion. The firm has two full time pattern designers employed, so they have full capacity to create whatever creative expression their clients wants or needs - if a client sends a crazy fashion designer there to create a line, the result will be accordingly. Send a Swedish shoe store owner with a flair for classic footwear and the result will be completely different, as you guys will notice in the future. Many french shoe brands produce their products at Carlos Santos - some are transparent with it - some are not. A quick Google search should help anyone who's curious. We have decided to focus on the standard Goodyear Welted line only, which is an open channel sole stitch construction. They also have a closed channel version but the price point is exactly like Carmina which did not fit into our price tier strategy. Carlos Santos also has a "Handcrafted" series which looks bloody nice, but we're sticking to one line to avoid confusion.
Here's an X-post (edited) from our thread:
Founded in 1942, Carlos Santos is a maker that carries its history proudly. Carlos Santos (pictured above with myself and Carlos' daughter Ana) started working at the age of 14 in this small shoe factory in the rural town São João da Madeira close to Porto, Portugal. Today the factory carries his name. Carlos Santos shoes by Skoaktiebolaget are all Goodyear welted and made in Portugal.
We have been very impressed with what we have seen from Carlos Santos and their range of Goodyear welted shoes. We will start our collaboration with offering twelve styles: six core styles and six styles available in the Carlos Santos Patina Service. This spring we will add a dozen new styles from Carlos Santos. We also have some very nice design collaborations underway, so stay tuned for more interesting stuff from this very promising maker. We feel this price/quality ratio is hard to compete with.
Carlos Santos Patina Service
Skoaktiebolaget offers a Patina Service through Carlos Santos. This is a unique way of putting your own touch on a pair of shoes. Selecting from a range of different patinas on the style of your choice (six styles currently available) the shoe itself will bear your stylistic signature. The delivery time for Carlos Santos Patina Service is about four to six weeks. All shoes in the Patina Service are made of uncolored crust that is then hand colored.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Materials (applies to the line Skoaktiebolaget carries)
Carlos Santos sources most of their leathers from Tannerie d'Annonay and other French and Italian tanneries, just like many other makers in the premium Goodyear welted segment. They use leather insoles, full cork filling, leather board heel stiffeners, celastic toe stiffeners. This makes them above par compared to many other makers in the same price segment.
I’ve been very impressed with the Carlos Santos finish, both on the Patina Service shoes and their regular calf shoes. It’s definitely way up there and above par compared to a lot of the makers in a similar price segment. Pictured pair (a sample from our upcoming spring collection) came like this, we have not added any additional polishing or burnishing. Actually, none of the shoes you have seen us post lately have been extra polished by us, the standard finish is impressive. The waist is nicely and slightly beveled.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Some pictures from the factory Click for pictures (Click to show)
Carlos Santos Swatches – GMTOs requires 8 Click for pictures (Click to show)
For those of you who wants to read an impartial review of the Carlos Santos Goodyear welted line, you can read Shoegazing’s post by following this link. http://shoegazing.se/english/2015/09/06/review-carlos-santos-7201-braga-cognac/
Some additional pictures of Carlos Santos Goodyear Welted line: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Edited by Leaves - 2/7/16 at 4:13am
I can see where you are coming from with regards to the issue of spam. But perhaps this is just a little harsh here.
@Leaves runs a reputable shoe retail business and I do respect how he conducts it, and also how he treats his customers (I'm one of them) and his online interactions.
Just the same, I respect you for how you take pride in your craft (tie and shirt making), and your sense of integrity, in exposing tailors or people in the industry who are not honest and use shill bloggers.
Taking Leaves' post in context, this thread has been dead for about 4 years for lack of information on Carlos Santos, until it was once again revived as SkoaB has only recently started carrying this maker. An earlier poster on this thread had also directly asked Leaves for information on CS and he responded accordingly. I do understand this post is outside of his affiliate thread but being a retailer that carries CS he definitely has information and insight that might interest the other posters on the thread.
Styleforum, to a large extent, is about sharing, and I don't think his post really goes beyond that.
Moreover, not that I'm overly singing his praises (I'm just stating the obvious), almost everyone already knows who Leaves and SkoaB are, and the makers he carries.
In any case, I see you both as friends, and I hope the thread can move past this, in the spirit of sharing.
I am always looking for a new pair of kicks in the low ~$300 price range, and these seem to fit the bill. I rather stupidly neglected to jump aboard the Carmina band wagon before the price hike (I only have two pair), but these seem to fit the bill. Again, I'll compare them with the usual suspects, i.e., Carmina, AE, Alden, Cheaney, etc., and then cross-reference them to some of the higher end stuff I have kicking around, i.e., Vass, EG, G&G, etc.
I am just excited to have (potentially) another good-value buy. I remember in 2009, I was able to purchase EG, G&G, etc. for around $600-700. It is amazing how fast a lot of the brands have become far more difficult to obtain.