I disagree that the quality of these shoes blows the English RTW out of the water. At best, they are comparable. And I don't see how prices well north of double what a pair of English shoes costs can be justified
Lattanzi, Kiton, and Santoni all produce shoes that are hand-welted with a feather hand-cut from the insole. All the English manufacturers of RTW shoes use machine welting and a glued-on linen feather. There has been discussion of how much advantage the former method of construction has over the latter, but it's noteworthy that all of the West-end bespoke houses utilize the former. I've never seen better antiquing or skin-stitching than Edward Green does, but the top Italian makers undeniably lavish more skill and more labor on their shoes than Edward Green does. Whether the added skill and labor is worth the cost is, of course, debatable, but that's really everyone's individual decision.
Well, sticking with RTW, I think the top Italian makers make some really goofy shoes. This is only my personal opinion, of course. But those funky designs often just scream "pimp" to me. I suppose one could special order something more classic, but then we are no longer talking about RTW, strictly speaking.
Of course they make goofy shoes. Goofy shoes are apparently what sells in US right now. The point is that they don't just
make goofy shoes. It's not like Lattanzi has a catalogue of a few styles that retailers are forced to select from. If a US retailer wanted to carry non-goofy Lattanzi shoes, Lattanzi would be more than happy to make them for him. The same goes for most high-end Italian makers.
Deeper than in the US, yes. But deeper than England? There are arguably six great makers of bespoke shoes in London alone. Also, I singled out Gatto and Messina because they make timeless shoes in the English style. I suppose they will make whatever you ask for. But when I last visited Gatto (in June), nearly all of the 50-odd samples in the shop were classic and gorgeous.
Yes. From what I understand, there are dozens of high-quality independent operations all over Italy. It's just that nobody has ever heard of them. The same goes for tailoring. As for Gatto and his English-styled shoes, well, the Italians have always had a genius for borrowing the best from other nations and improving on it.