Originally Posted by Stirling
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
JustinEdited by The Shoe Snob - 3/29/14 at 4:07am