I think inherent in being a connoisseur is to cast aspersions on that which one finds unacceptable. To MY taste, wearing things that are poor value, is unattractive, and I am entitled to this aesthetic.
That's not an aesthetic. That's a value judgment. The point I'm trying to make is that just because something is a poor value to you
, it doesn't mean that it's poor value to everyone. Lattanzi is unique. Nobody else can do what they do exactly as they do it (there are, of course, other shoemakers whose technical excellence is equivalent to Lattanzi, but those others can't make a Lattanzi shoe any more than Lattanzi could make a Berluti or Cleverley shoe). If someone wants exactly what Lattanzi offers and finds the result of the Lattanzi bespoke process to be perfect, who are you to say that that person is getting poor value? I've purchased C&J Handgrade shoes before for less than $400. I've also bought more than one pair of EG shoes at over $800. I wear the EG shoes all the time, but I don't wear the C&J shoes much at all. Which shoes are a better value? More than that, the cost of an item is only a matter of concern for the person buying it and the person or company selling it. If you're not one of those two parties, then it's none of your business.
And even if Lattanzis have not been poisoned by the inflation of their name-value, I believe it poisons the market. A $10,000 shoe is also inaccessible to most connoisseurs, leaving it for those who cannot appreciate it.
There are some legitimate connoisseurs on this board, but most of us are dilettantes. I may know something about clothes and shoes, but I recognize that I'm in the latter category, not the former. It will ever be the case that significant portion of the buyers of high-end goods won't appreciate the quality and the craftsmanship of those goods. Lattanzi could charge $2000 for a pair of shoes (and given the 40+ hours necessary for highly skilled craftsmen to produce a pair of bespoke shoes, $2000 is well nigh a bargain), and they would still be inaccessible to the vast majority of connoisseurs. So what? The idea that the world consists of bourgeois conoisseurs and the philistine rich is contrafactual.
I think that also has a pernicious effect, just as expense account-ers can ruin a restaurant business.
If you ask the people in the high-end shoe business, I think that most will say, "Thank God for Lattanzi." The profit margins on handmade shoes are slim, and makers like Lattanzi raise the profile and prestige of the trade so that other small makers can survive. I want bespoke shoemaking to survive as a craft, and the only way that it can is for it to be profitable. If that means that most of the goods have to be sold to people who have no real appreciation for quality (and it does), so be it. All that means is that it's more accessible for me.
This is not a moral issue, but an aesthetic one, and I am entitled to my aesthetic sense.
This isn't a question of morals or aesthetics. It's a question of spending priorities. You're entitled to your point of view, but you should have some measure of respect for others who have a point of view different from yours.
I should have added that I have no problem wearing RTW shoes. I do understand that someone who needed bespoke would have to raise his ceiling a bit.
I don't have a problem with RTW shoes, either. Virtually nobody needs
bespoke anything (and that includes bespoke suits, by the way). Bespoke shoes are a luxury, and if someone wants that luxury and can afford it, more power to him.
What we need is a sort of high-end Consumer Reports that specializes in fashion. There is a French quarterly fashion mag ("Dandy") that actually does do reports like CR. I have scanned one and you can see how they are critical of a high-end garment, as well as appreciative:
What do you think this board is?