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J FitzPatrick Appreciation Thread - Page 3

post #31 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbia View Post

Thanks, the last seems a little narrow so was just wondering if they will in fact stretch a tad 

I would just get your normal shoe size... I did and they fit fine....no slippage.....i just wont buy a smaller shoe and wait for it to stretch. Its a narrow last so you gotta get the width right or youll feel it in your feet.

Btw the leather is very soft and supple.
post #32 of 257

I like his blog but more because there aren't any better ones like it, I never understand why he gives no love to Italian shoemakers.  It's all English's most popular and Japanese bespoke. 

 

Regarding his shoes, I think many of them are hideous.  I'm sorry to say it because you can tell he has a lot of passion, I just don't think he has great taste in shoes that sell.  Maybe he is trying to market to a tiny flamboyant minority of shoe lovers, but from what I've seen on his blog I don't see his shoes catching on much anytime soon.

post #33 of 257
I also find that his take on shoes dubious, and his styles hideous. Also quite poor value for money when you can have Cheaney Imperials on eBay for less than what he is flipping, tacky (supposedly) made in Spain shoes.

And I find it curious that he has the money for a pair of bespoke G & G shoes (with ample shots and praises in his blog) but has insufficient funds for even making a complete set of samples. Or is he a hack?
post #34 of 257
Thread Starter 
He is no hack. I can understand that his shoes are not to everyone's taste nobody's are. Certainly I have no qualms about the quality of his shoes and Cheaney has always been a purveyor of lower quality shoes to me.

Do you have any reason or facts to back up your comments Verrihappy?
post #35 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by culverwood View Post



He is no hack. I can understand that his shoes are not to everyone's taste nobody's are. Certainly I have no qualms about the quality of his shoes and Cheaney has always been a purveyor of lower quality shoes to me.



Do you have any reason or facts to back up your comments Verrihappy?



 



+1000



 



The hack comment was completely over the top, IMO.  I've met Justin at a trunk show and found him to be engaging, intelligent, informed and filled with an abiding passion for fine footwear.  I have found his blog to represent an incredibly broad range of RTW and bespoke footwear from across the world, with just about every style, colour and material represented.  His is a true celebration of the craft, as opposed to a snide an self-serving promotion of one particular subset of preferences as to style / materials /construction coupled with an everlasting attack upon anything which falls outside that subset.  I'd be more likely to hang the "hack" label on that approach.



 



And I am expecting my first pair of shoes from him in a few weeks.  Not the least bit hideous to my eyes - but then I don't hang that label on anything that falls outside my own range of personal preferences, either.


Edited by RogerP - 3/28/14 at 6:29am
post #36 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by culverwood View Post

Cheaney has always been a purveyor of lower quality shoes to me.

Is that based on your experience of wearing them or handling them?

Just interested.

On the topic of Justin, in person: great guy, blog: generalised & very opinionated, nonetheless a resource and good source for shoe porn.
Shoes: My own prejudice, he comes to England what I consider the home of GY shoes (bias, I worked in the industry) and then due to costs, I strongly suspect, gets his shoes made in Spain.
Quality of his shoes very decent, price point I think too high, because production in Spain is cheap, but remember I'm biased!
post #37 of 257
I've met Justin as well and found him forthright, knowledgeable and focussed, and just to tie in a couple of points he explained about the realities of getting shoes made and it wasn't just about money but more about economies of scale to get small runs done as he needs for his initial business. If you have seen his shoes in the flesh and talked to him you will know he gets the best possible result by working closely with the makers and insisting on good standards.
And i had with me a pair of Cheaney Imperials which he looked at and mentioned how really nice quality they were, especially the fine quality of the skin. They are way better than the average Cheaney and IMO between CJ handgrade and EG or Lobb in quality ( I have all of these to be able to compare)...
No need to disparage a positive guy like Justin or the very best efforts of "lesser" English shoemakers? wink.gif
post #38 of 257
The first time I met Justin at G&H their stock shoes were made by Cheaney, a company which is renowned for accommodating capsule collections and small runs. However they can't compete on pricing with Espania.
post #39 of 257
I hope that my posting does not deter anyone from contiunuing to express their feelings towards me or my brand, whether they be positive or negative. However, I did want to clarify the point of why I chose to make my shoes in Spain.

Originally I had wanted to make my shoes in England. I talked to a few factories and believe it or not one owner of an English factory that I was interested in (none of you would guess who it is so please dont make presumptions written online - and FYI it was not Tony Gaziano) gave me invaluable advice and told me to forget about looking at English factories for two reasons; 1. they are too expensive and 2. they are too stubborn and rigid. And what I mean by that is that if I come to them as a designer and tell them that i want to create something unique and particular, they might very well say, "sorry we dont ( and wont) make that type of shoe." Just as a savile row tailor wont make you a soft shoulder suit even though it is well within their capabilities. I could not have those types of limitations put upon me as a designer because I did want to make things that were different, for example my denim balmoral boot. Plus I wanted to be hands on as I truely care about my shoes and what the customer gets and i have also heard that even as their private lable customer, most english factories would not let you anywhere near the production

However the number one reason is more practical than this and it is the simple fact that because every single English factory has their own house label and very distinct way of making, I would already be shooting myself in the foot by using an English factory as I would inevitably be more expensive then their house brand would be:

Now let me break that down for you in figures so that some of you who might think i am talking crap can understand. FOR EXAMPLE:

Lets just say that C&J makes shoes for £60 (true cost price) and then retails them for £350. Because they own the factory they have price control and take the entire profit margin. Now lets say that i wanted to private label from them. They would sell me the shoes at a wholesale price of around £150 and to then factor my wholesale markup in the price i would have to sell at +£400. I would then be at least £50 more than C&J and any savvy consumer would be able to tell that my shoes were made by them as they dont change the sole features and the insignia on the inside of the shoe. I would naturally be pricing myself right out of my competitors range. And then that smart customer would say, 'why should i buy your shoe when the manufacturer sells his for £50 less? If you are Ralph Lauren you can do that; if you are a new brand known by few, you cannot. Business 101 would tell you that thats not smart business. SO THAT IS WHY I DID NOT CHOSE AN ENGLISH FACTORY for all of you whom have been wondering.

there are other reasons as well but at the end of the day, I run a business and to price yourself out of your competitors pricepoint is just plain suicide and the height of stupidity for any new brand, especially when most of your competitors have over 100 years of history to go on top

I hope that this helps clarify things. please feel free to continue discussing my brand, whether your opinions be good or bad

Sincerely

Justin

P.S. i have been writing this on a French keyboard so please excuse all written mistakes
post #40 of 257
I don't think there is anything wrong or negative at all with what you are doing in fact I congratulate you and I believe it's worthy of celebration.I hope you don't begrudge my preference for English shoemaking, it's a personal choice. There is of course a lot of great shoemaking outside of these fine isles as you know better than I, whether it be Italy, Japan, Spain, Austria or of course France.

I did find what you posted below very surprising though,I don't disbelieve you but it's a shocking situation

[quote name="Handmadeshoes" url="/t/344162/j-fitzpatrick-appreciation-thread/30#post_ [/quote]
Lets just say that C&J makes shoes for £60 (true cost price) and then retails them for £350. Because they own the factory they have price control and take the entire profit margin. Now lets say that i wanted to private label from them. They would sell me the shoes at a wholesale price of around £150 and to then factor my wholesale markup in the price i would have to sell at +£400. I would then be at least £50 more than C&J and any savvy consumer would be able to tell that my shoes were made by them as they dont change the sole features and the insignia on the inside of the shoe. I would naturally be pricing myself right out of my competitors range. And then that smart customer would say, 'why should i buy your shoe when the manufacturer sells his for £50 less?[/quote]

It makes me wonder how all those other small and much smaller than Ralph Lauren labels manage to use English factories. Just by way of example I am thinking in terms of labels like shipton and henage and guys like Andrew lock who was and maybe still is using cheaney and selling at a lower price than the house brand. It's just curiosity, I don't expect you to answer on behalf of other manufacturers or to speculate about it. It's just many of the English factories I have had dealings with pretty much survived through their private label work. How times change.
post #41 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stirling View Post

I don't think there is anything wrong or negative at all with what you are doing in fact I congratulate you and I believe it's worthy of celebration.I hope you don't begrudge my preference for English shoemaking, it's a personal choice. There is of course a lot of great shoemaking outside of these fine isles as you know better than I, whether it be Italy, Japan, Spain, Austria or of course France.

I did find what you posted below very surprising though,I don't disbelieve you but it's a shocking situation
It makes me wonder how all those other small and much smaller than Ralph Lauren labels manage to use English factories. Just by way of example I am thinking in terms of labels like shipton and henage and guys like Andrew lock who was and maybe still is using cheaney and selling at a lower price than the house brand. It's just curiosity, I don't expect you to answer on behalf of other manufacturers or to speculate about it. It's just many of the English factories I have had dealings with pretty much survived through their private label work. How times change.

It would be silly of me to begrudge someone else for their preference. I respect other peoples opinions and ideas. My response was not actually directed at you but your prior comments did make me feel that like you there may be others who are curious to know so i simply thought that i should shed some light as to the "why".

as per those other brands well you see there are multiple reasons why they can sell at a lower pricepoint. I wont speak for the other brands at all but rather just tell you the things about the industry that others wont as for me it is very important that the customer knows the truth.

first and foremost they are direct-to-customer retailers. They have purposely cut out their wholesale margin to sell shoes directly to the customer and at a lower price. That also means that you will never see them stocked at any other retailer. its one way of doing business but it is a big risk as if you dont do enough marketing to grow your brand internationally you will always be small...and both of those brands you mentioned are tiny...in fact i had never even heard of Andrew Lock. When you use the word "survive" that summed it right up for me. I dont simply want to survive. I would like to thrive.

Secondly just because a brand is making their shoes at an English factory does not mean that they are making the same quality as English brand's house label. When I looked at the AL website I got this feeling... should this be true this also allows them to keep the prices lower

Thirdly many of the brands that use C&J to make their shoes, such as Shipton & Heneage, to me just look like C&J with their name stamped inside which also keeps the costs down as there is no tooling costs associated with making their shoes. They just have to pay for the stamp of their logo to put on the sock liner. Tooling costs are expensive and add a significant price to each of your shoes. All of my shoes and lasts ( with the exception of my Marcos model's last which i will soon stop using) were created from scratch, which means that they all have to go through rounds of sampling and thus incur high tooling costs. Not to mention all the lasts that have to be made which also bears weight (no pun intended)

As you see there are many things to the shoe industry that the common person will never know and things really arent as black and white as they may appear

Lastly I dont personally believe that British shoes at this pricepoint are really that much better than Spanish shoes. In fact I feel Carmina shoes to be superior to C&J benchgrade and they are £50 less. I took it upon myself by using my brand to hopefully dispel this idea that Spanish made shoes are inferior to those of Britian and Italy as I believe that this theory no longer holds ground in the modern day. (not as this pricepoint of shoes anyway). And as each day goes on i try to make my shoes better. And my Spanish factory allows me to tell them things that will make them better. An English factory would have never allowed that

Things in the modern day have changed and while i personally love English made shoes I felt that for my brand, due to all of the reason expressed in these last two posts, it would be more beneficial to look elsewhere, somewhere that would allow me to do what i wanted and be hands on with

Sincerely

Justin
Edited by Handmadeshoes - 3/29/14 at 4:07am
post #42 of 257
Justin - most informative indeed - thanks.
post #43 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post

Justin - most informative indeed - thanks.

I second that. I always like active participation of the brand itself, or Justin in this case. It's good to see he is just as willing to share his knowledge online as he is in person.
post #44 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post

Justin - most informative indeed - thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeyface View Post

I second that. I always like active participation of the brand itself, or Justin in this case. It's good to see he is just as willing to share his knowledge online as he is in person.

Thanks Justin as others have said, I'll pop in and see you at TE in April. smile.gif
post #45 of 257
Didn't realize the shoe snob is so anti-English shoe makers. You wouldn't realize it from his blog, there you'd think he is anti-Italian.
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