Hey PhiloVance, just wondering how that worked out for you. I'm headed there this summer too - just trying to map out all the good shops to hit up in Barca.
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Of those 6 pairs, 3 came from their Paris store, 1 from the Bacelone shop, 1 from Madrid Gran Via, and 1 from Madrid Claudio Coello. I haven't visited their Madrid Serrano store yet.
By far, the best selection is to be found at Claudio Coello. The store is easily twice as big as any of their other stores. Paris and Gran Via are OK, Barcelona slightly disappointing when it comes to the selection.
At the end of January, when I was in Madrid, the sales were on. I bought a pair of cognac cordovan penny loafers in the Forest last, at EUR 300, which was an absolute steal. I think they were discontinuing this color. With the sales, a number of calf models could be found in the EUR 200 - 250 range. At that price, I'd have bought 5 more pairs if I'd had enough space in my suitcase.
Otherwise, regular prices are a bit cheaper in Spain as they are in Paris. Cordovans at EUR 550 in Paris can be found at EUR 495 in Spain, if I recall correctly.
Service is superb: I was buying the calf / suede spectator earlier this week in Paris, and while I was trying for size, Luis (the store manager) decided to take my C&J suede Chukkas to clean them.
The Armoury, which I visited in April, has a more limited selection compared to any Carmina store, but they do have models that are commissioned for them only, like the suede stringloafer. Brilliant stuff.
Lastly, Carminas can be found at Trading Post in Japan. Prices are sky high thanks to import taxes and the strong Yen.
I hope this helps.
Edited by flanker2000fr - 8/4/12 at 12:07am
I agree that the shop on Coello has the best selection of the Madrid shops, though keep in mind that It is very strangely lit in there. The shop on Serrano is very small, a closet really. The Gran Via shop, if you're interested, has some reduced stock year-round, all of which is either discontinued or second quality.
Betty is very responsive and I am about to put an order in for the double monk in saddle shell MTO in my size for 650 euro plus 40 euro shipping to the U.S. She stated it takes 10 weeks to be made and then shipped. My first MTO shoe and haven't even tried it on, but thanks for everyone's real world experiences with this company.