Originally Posted by Pembers
I disagree with (1). Ownership by Prada has meant that Church's has produced some awful 'fashion' shoes with sequins and the like. But JLP has done similar things since being bought by Hermes. In neither case has the quality of the classic models noticeable decreased, IMO. The Grafton, the Chetwynd, and so on, are still absolute classics and in my opinion both are better-made than C&J benchgrade.
For a start, I don't know why you think it's reasonable to compare Hermès with Prada. Anyway, Hermès bought the JL brand in 1976, and started making shoes that have nothing to do with the original St James's styles & techniques, so I have no idea how you can make the claim "in neither case has the the quality of classic models noticeably decreased".
As for Church's today, you can still find high-quality, classic, bench-grade shoes in their stores for about £400. However, even on these the leathers have decreased in quality, especially in their soles and resoles. C&J resoles last perhaps three times as long as Church's. I believe C&J resoles are a little more expensive (perhaps £20 extra), but their actual shoes are typically much cheaper at £300-350 for bench-grade.
You own shoes from both makers already, so I suppose you can decide for yourself if there is any difference. I've stopped buying form Church's, personally.Edited by Loathing - 5/8/13 at 4:26pm