The design itself is very nice - minimalist and elegant - but the long, extremely chiselled last does not suit everyone and Corthay also tends to make them in unusual colours with a very antiqued finish.
I am very disappointed by the lack of an "SF shoe circle" photo - especially at a shoe-related event!
The display shoes seen in photos are usually extravagant showcases, with patent leathers and exotic patinas exarcebated by direct spot lighting. I have been told that 90% of the shoes sold are in the usual black and browns. The RTW is only a very small portion of their sales. For the same price as RTW, customers can MTO and specify the lasts, leather, pipings, soles, patina etc. and current wait time is about 3 months. Corthay will also redo the patina at any time for free (at least for the Paris atelier) for the lifetime of the shoe.
I have come a full circle on Corthay. Used to think they are spiv shoes just judging by the showcase pieces. The reality is that the lasts, though pointy, are actually very well proportioned. The last narrowness is actually exaggerated by the design. The leather quality is very high for such a flimsy looking shoe. Construction is good, with leather stiffeners for both toes and heels. Finishing is not quite on par with say G & G, and you need to inspect the shoes carefully for misplaced stitchings, patina splotches, etc.
I cannot exactly say that the price is good value, because for another 15% more, you can get an Aurum handwelted by Meccariello, a shoe which will be better in nearly all aspects eg construction, leather quality, patina, finishing. What you pay for Corthay is the uniqueness of the last design, and that of course, is a subjective aesthetic preference. If you like the aesthetics of RMW or Buday or Aldens, then it is understandable that you will not find Corthay to be your cup of tea.
Lastly, contrary to some internet reports, I found the service at both the Paris shop and the HK Harbour City shop to be superlative. In actual fact, the service at the Paris atelier was primarily responsible for my recent purchase, which was both not contemplated and out of budget by a sector mile.