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Ascot Shoes and Vass - Quality Control Etc.

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I feel compelled to start this thread, not as sour grapes, but more to see what other feedback is out there and to both help others avoid what I went through and perhaps for Vass to hear some legitimate feedback that might help them.

 

Initially, I was introduced to Vass through the Ascot Shoe Group who post largely Vass, but also some Barker Blacks and the odd pair of John Lobbs or Crocketts on eBay.

 

I could turn this into a very long story, which would likely bore the heck out of most people and probably would not accomplish what I have set out to. Suffice it to say that I purchased one pair of Vass Boots in person from the owner of Ascot Shoes while I was in London. This pair are great, I have no issues and I continue to wear them today. However in the meantime, I ordered a pair of MTOs which when they arrived, had a number of issues. The tongues both would not stay remotely centered and in fact slipped immediately all the way down to the left side of my foot on both shoes. The "speed eyelets" were either of not good enough quality or had not been smoothed enough that they literally cut through a pair of laces everytime I wore them. And the backside of those same speedlace grommets were not seated flush with the leather so they scratched both tongues (which were scotchgrain) badly (I will post pictures). I contacted Ascot and was told I shouldnt have worn them and I couldve gotten a full refund, but of course I had only worn them a half a dozen times, but would and could not have discovered the issues without wearing them. Ultimately after much back and forth, Ascot and Vass agreed to remake the boots in time for the middle of September. I had gone over all of the issues with Reszo, the manager of Vass and Karl, the owner of Ascot. I was hopeful as I very much like the designs and Karl has a super eye for style.

 

Unfortunately, when I received the boots, they were worse than the first pair. The holes that are punched along the strip of an oxford or a brogue, many were not punched cleanly through and still had the leather plugs in them, the alignment of these holes and the attention to consistency was beyond poor (visible in the photos I will post below) and the speed grommets which we had decided to forgo for plain laceholes, were done without metal eyelets at all (not what was agreed to or ordered). I contacted Ascot and Karl and returned the boots immediately. 

 

During the waiting period for the boots, I had purchase a pair of shoes from Ascot that were my size and ready made. Within several weeks of wearing them perhaps 4-5 times, the bottom of the two stitch lines around the top of the heel had separated right at the middle on both pairs. Karl told me to send these back with the first boots which I did and they would be repaired. They were returned to me with ABSOLUTELY nothing done except the ends of the threads were melted so they wouldn't come undone anymore. I accepted a "goodwill" discount to keep the shoes and am currently wearing them today.

 

During this 6 or so month period, I have spoken to a number of people who carry Vass (I will keep their names anonymous) as well as looked online for comments regarding both Vass and Ascot shoes. I have also spent some time reading blogs, visiting shoe stores in London and New York and looking at images online.

 

What I have come up with, is that there is a general consensus that the quality control at Vass is lacking in terms of the details Ive mentioned above. Now whether Vass is trying to make too many shoes, or what, I dont have the answer to that. What I can tell you and it is even visible in the pictures posted by Ascot and Vass, is that in the details of the stitching and the hole punching, etc, there is not the evenness and attention to detail that there should be in shoes MTO at this level. I'd be interested to hear of experiences from others as well as hoping that improvements can be made because I truly believe that Karl has a terrific eye for design and that Vass can obviously make shoes and good ones at that, but at the moment there are significant issues that need addressing.

 

 

post #2 of 29
Honestly, based on your expectations, you should probably be purchasing St. Crispins or Gaziano and Girling, because it seems like you are looking for nothing short of perfection.
post #3 of 29
i have zero incentive or interest in defending or blaspheming vass. no personal association other than owning multiple pairs.


while to the every day person, ~500$ is an extreme amount of money on a pair of shoes that deserves geometric perfection, relative to whats available on the market -- how theyre constructed and finished -- the "problems" you illustrate with picture represents a level of expection that is simply unrealistic.
post #4 of 29

If the OP had a hundred posts on SF, I might have a very, miniscule amount of sympathy for him. However, I just have none. First post and completely unreasonable expectations means I just dont care.

 

That being said, at least this is about Vass and not having these expectations about Allen Edmonds like usual... It's a start.

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your posts, but these pictures are not descriptive of all the problems, and I would tell you that several Vass vendors I have spoken to have expressed the same issues with Vass. In addition, I have owned many, many different shoes and boots at many different price points. I can tell you that you can buy ready to wear shoes that dont have the zig zag hole punching and lack of care that these have. To me, these pictures are indicative of rushing and lack of care. One of you mentioned St. Crispins. When I ordered the first pair of Vass, the owner of Ascot sent me the 20 minute film clip from uTube that St. Crispin put out (which is wonderful) intimating that this was how Vass made their shoes.

Oh also, these shoes are not priced at $500 either, perhaps thats what they cost from Vass, but through Ascot, they are over $1000 for a pair of boots.

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

Geeez, you must be somebody really important. Pompous anyhow. I dont care how many posts I have or you have. I took the time to write about an experience that I'm not the only one to have AND to try to get some feedback from other Vass buyers. You on the other hand have written a two line response. Wow, lot of effort. Dont overexert yourself.

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by agoodeye View Post

Thank you both for your posts, but these pictures are not descriptive of all the problems, and I would tell you that several Vass vendors I have spoken to have expressed the same issues with Vass. In addition, I have owned many, many different shoes and boots at many different price points. I can tell you that you can buy ready to wear shoes that dont have the zig zag hole punching and lack of care that these have. To me, these pictures are indicative of rushing and lack of care. One of you mentioned St. Crispins. When I ordered the first pair of Vass, the owner of Ascot sent me the 20 minute film clip from uTube that St. Crispin put out (which is wonderful) intimating that this was how Vass made their shoes.
Oh also, these shoes are not priced at $500 either, perhaps thats what they cost from Vass, but through Ascot, they are over $1000 for a pair of boots.

the other problems you describe sound legitimate, im just judging by the pictures

whether with shoes or garments or accessories of luxury goods at luxury prices i dont expect perfect construction quality anymore. the extra money is sunk into superior raw material and the styling (and of course the name).
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trompe le Monde View Post


the other problems you describe sound legitimate, im just judging by the pictures

whether with shoes or garments or accessories of luxury goods at luxury prices i dont expect perfect construction quality anymore. the extra money is sunk into superior raw material and the styling (and of course the name).

Thank you for that. I think it was an unfortunate series of events that combined not just the pictures, but the other things mentioned in the description.

I guess I am commenting on a lack of consistency........as the pair I bought in London in person are great with no problems, but subsequent pairs have had the issues mentioned. Also, I think its a bit of "at what price does one expect what". If these were $300-400 shoes it might be one thing, but they are not. They are $800-1200 and thats approaching Edward Green, Crocketts, etc. and I can tell you Edward Green does not have the problems that Vass has.

post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by agoodeye View Post
 

Geeez, you must be somebody really important. Pompous anyhow. I dont care how many posts I have or you have. I took the time to write about an experience that I'm not the only one to have AND to try to get some feedback from other Vass buyers. You on the other hand have written a two line response. Wow, lot of effort. Dont overexert yourself.

I notice that you didnt create an account here and start a thread about how wonderful the pair of Vass you bought in London are. You also didnt create an account on Styleforum to participate in a discussion about Vass, Classic style, or anything else. What you did, was create an account and used your very first post to start a thread to have a bitch and complain about your perceived injustice. 

 

Did you do a search and see if there was a dedicated thread for Vass Shoes (there is http://www.styleforum.net/t/130044/the-ultimate-vass-footwear-porn-thread) where it might be appropriate to post this?

You did not.

 

What feedback were you looking for? Did you want everyone to say "Yeah, new guy, you're right, Vass sucks. You poor thing!"

 

As for being pompous, you are the one who thinks they and their story are important enough for their own thread since obviously we all should care about you.

 

Since you are so aggrieved at the state of your Vass shoes, I will buy each pair from you for $100 so you can recoup some of your money.

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdavro23 View Post
 

I notice that you didnt create an account here and start a thread about how wonderful the pair of Vass you bought in London are. You also didnt create an account on Styleforum to participate in a discussion about Vass, Classic style, or anything else. What you did, was create an account and used your very first post to start a thread to have a bitch and complain about your perceived injustice. 

 

Did you do a search and see if there was a dedicated thread for Vass Shoes (there is http://www.styleforum.net/t/130044/the-ultimate-vass-footwear-porn-thread) where it might be appropriate to post this?

You did not.

 

What feedback were you looking for? Did you want everyone to say "Yeah, new guy, you're right, Vass sucks. You poor thing!"

 

As for being pompous, you are the one who thinks they and their story are important enough for their own thread since obviously we all should care about you.

 

Since you are so aggrieved at the state of your Vass shoes, I will buy each pair from you for $100 so you can recoup some of your money.

How observant of you..........maybe if you can read, you'll read (but maybe you cant read) my entire post. No, I didnt start a thread here to talk about buying one out of 4 pairs of shoes that were acceptable. I also did not trash Vass nor Ascot shoes. I think I posted a fair description of my experience (very frustrating) and looking to see if there were any similar ones out there. You on the other hand must not have enough to do, so why dont you organize your sock drawer or something. In the meantime, I wouldnt sell you my underwear for $100 each. 

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by agoodeye View Post
 

How observant of you..........maybe if you can read, you'll read (but maybe you cant read) my entire post. No, I didnt start a thread here to talk about buying one out of 4 pairs of shoes that were acceptable. I also did not trash Vass nor Ascot shoes. I think I posted a fair description of my experience (very frustrating) and looking to see if there were any similar ones out there. You on the other hand must not have enough to do, so why dont you organize your sock drawer or something. In the meantime, I wouldnt sell you my underwear for $100 each. 

Thank you for noticing that I am observant. Its nice when people notice things in which we excel. As for my ability to read, it has been a struggle. Though I try and try, sometimes I lose heart that I will ever conquer all those letters jumbled together. One of these days though, I aspire to be able to post a whinging, bleating post as well as you. I also hope that I can make sure its as pointless as yours as well because I am awed at your ability to use so many words to convey the message "Please feel sorry for me and validate my opinions". Truly masterful...

 

As for buying your underwear: piss off you dirty pervert.

post #12 of 29
I only have two pairs of Vass shoes. Neither one are what I would consider "perfect," or comparable to the level of care and quality I would expect from the higher-tier makers I mentioned earlier. Nevertheless, I consider them an exceptional value for the price I paid, and slightly nicer in construction and finishing than pairs I own from makers in the same price bracket (Bonafe, Carmina).

I don't think I would be bothered by what's in the pictures you posted, but we each have our own standards and expectations. Vass excels in fit and construction, in my opinion, and not in flawless finishing.

Technically, I believe that Vass shoes are made using the same methods as St Crispins, although that does not guarantee the same quality of raw materials, and amount of care and expertise given to each individual pair.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Do you care to post pictures of the entire shoes? I'm curious about the makes you ordered. The two tone boot looks interesting.
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by peppercorn78 View Post

I only have two pairs of Vass shoes. Neither one are what I would consider "perfect," or comparable to the level of care and quality I would expect from the higher-tier makers I mentioned earlier. Nevertheless, I consider them an exceptional value for the price I paid, and slightly nicer in construction and finishing than pairs I own from makers in the same price bracket (Bonafe, Carmina).

I don't think I would be bothered by what's in the pictures you posted, but we each have our own standards and expectations. Vass excels in fit and construction, in my opinion, and not in flawless finishing.

Technically, I believe that Vass shoes are made using the same methods as St Crispins, although that does not guarantee the same quality of raw materials, and amount of care and expertise given to each individual pair.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Do you care to post pictures of the entire shoes? I'm curious about the makes you ordered. The two tone boot looks interesting.

Thanks for your post. I would suggest that you follow Ascot_Shoes on Instagram as they have some really interesting designs and you probably (as was I) will be very impressed by the designs that Karl Chu has put together. I am confused a little about what "price bracket" you would put the Vass shoes in. My understanding is that they can be bought much less expensively from Vass direct than from Ascot, so I am uncertain as to what category most people would put them in.

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdavro23 View Post
 

Thank you for noticing that I am observant. Its nice when people notice things in which we excel. As for my ability to read, it has been a struggle. Though I try and try, sometimes I lose heart that I will ever conquer all those letters jumbled together. One of these days though, I aspire to be able to post a whinging, bleating post as well as you. I also hope that I can make sure its as pointless as yours as well because I am awed at your ability to use so many words to convey the message "Please feel sorry for me and validate my opinions". Truly masterful...

 

As for buying your underwear: piss off you dirty pervert.

Hmmmmm. Looking at some of your other "longwinded" posts i found this:

 

How do the Peter and Budapest lasts relate? I am 43.5 in both F and U, but I have no experience with any other lasts. Thanks

 

Actually I think you are FU in just about anything.

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by agoodeye View Post

Thanks for your post. I would suggest that you follow Ascot_Shoes on Instagram as they have some really interesting designs and you probably (as was I) will be very impressed by the designs that Karl Chu has put together. I am confused a little about what "price bracket" you would put the Vass shoes in. My understanding is that they can be bought much less expensively from Vass direct than from Ascot, so I am uncertain as to what category most people would put them in.

My pairs were MTO orders placed directly through The Vass Cipo store. I understand that this is not an option for most people in the US. The price was almost exactly what I paid for my Bonafe MTO and a bit less than my Carmina GMTO (which was cordovan).
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