Several years ago, SF and AskAndy introduced me to Edward Green shoes. The result has been a disaster for my pocketbook, but a sartorial revelation. Despite their expense, I now swear by EGs and enjoy them every single time I wear them. They not only look good (I average 2-3 random compliments/week) but are remarkably comfortable.
Also following this forum's lead, I've been buying EGs from 'Sky Valet' in Georgetown. As many of you know, look past the odd name and you find a pair of middle-aged brothers who run a small outpost of sartorial excellence with humility and good nature. They have spent countless hours teaching me about shoe construction, upkeep, etc. I have been consistently impressed by their knowledge, patience, and service. No hard sell here - they explain the respective qualities of different styles and lines and let the product speak for itself. Not an ounce of pretension - just nice guys who know their stuff and enjoy working hard at what they do.
So imagine my chagrin the other day when I went in and discovered that their relationship with EG is ending. Apparently over the last few years they've been having a hard time getting product, been repeatedly refused a trunk show, and treated with increasing levels of attitude by EG's rep for North America. Not sure who actually initiated the divorce, but from the description I heard, it sounds like the EG rep has been conducting a campaign of 'constructive dismissal' for a while now. And while I've only heard one side of the story, my experiences with Sky Valet incline me to take their account at face value.
I was even more surprised when I subsequently saw that Brooks Brothers is now carrying a couple of models of EG shoes in their Georgetown store. BB sales associates are never going to have the shoemaking knowledge of Adam and Hetom, who actually work on shoes themselves. And when I compare the snottiness and poor service I've encountered at Leffot in NYC with the consistently top-rate experience I've had at Sky Valet, I think Edward Green is doing themselves a grave disservice by dropping them as vendors.
I plan on emailing EG directly about this, and thought that other patrons of Sky Valet might like to know - and perhaps raise their voices - as well. Maybe if there's enough of an outcry from customers, EG will rethink it's decision.
Just to be clear, I have no relationship with Sky Valet or Edward Green other than as a periodic customer.