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Best shops for high end shoes?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
A couple of weeks ago I attended the Collaborative at Louis, Boston, their annual show. It had far fewer vendors than in years past, though two new shoe additions were noteworthy. Mr. Harris was there with Vass. I favor a pointier shoe and their new "U" last is a total winner. It manages to be elegant and refined, while still having an edgy quality. Bravo. There was also a new kid on the block, Bontoni. This is a third generation operation with the grandson trying to expand the brand. They have beautiful shoes but (literally) no distribution. (You can find but one picture on www.bontoni.com) Think undiscovered gem. Louis is famous for finding these companies and they added Bontoni to the show only days before. I chatted up the new management team and they really could use help in finding the right shoe shops and haberdasheries to appreciate and sell their fine line. They showed Blake stitched shoes, but also do Goodyear, tirolese, Bentivegna and "a sacchetto" construction. (Don't ask.) They had edgy and conservative cuts, and showed some pretty nice antiquing. 1)\tSO, IF YOU WERE LOOKING TO BUY SOME NEW HIGH-END KICKS, WITH MANTELLASSI QUALITY AND GREAT FINISH, WHERE WOULD YOU GO SHOPPING? 2)\tDO YOU CARE ENOUGH ABOUT GOODYEAR VS. THE OTHER CONSTRUCTIONS, IF THE SHOE IS STILL WELL-MADE AND FINISHED? NOTE: I have zero economic interest in the outcome or with Bontoni. I am just trying to help some nice people add some beautiful shoes to our choices....and learn about great shops I should visit.
post #2 of 4
I didn't talk as much with the Bontoni guys as rjsphd, but I did check out the shoes. Very nice. Almost all the models there were Blake stitched, with the exception of one Goodyear welted (by machine) model. I would compare them to Barrett and Tanino Crisci, except that the last design and antiquing is better than either of those brands. Very nice looking shoes. Think a subtle Italian take on classic English shoes. They didn't have the handwork of Mantellassi though. Rjsphd, are you sure they do Bentivegna and tirolese? They didn't have any handmade models there.
Quote:
) DO YOU CARE ENOUGH ABOUT GOODYEAR VS. THE OTHER CONSTRUCTIONS, IF THE SHOE IS STILL WELL-MADE AND FINISHED?
I am perfectly happy wearing well designed and finished Blake stitched or machine welted shoes, but I expect them to be priced lower as there is not nearly as much labor involved in making them.
post #3 of 4
Quote:
1)\tSO, IF YOU WERE LOOKING TO BUY SOME NEW HIGH-END KICKS, WITH MANTELLASSI QUALITY AND GREAT FINISH, WHERE WOULD YOU GO SHOPPING? 2)\tDO YOU CARE ENOUGH ABOUT GOODYEAR VS. THE OTHER CONSTRUCTIONS, IF THE SHOE IS STILL WELL-MADE AND FINISHED?
1. I don't really go into stores thinking, "I need to get a pair of brown captoes. Let's see what they have." I decide that I need a pair of brown captoes, decide what manufacturer I want to buy the shoes from, and choose the store accordingly. Shopping is for research so that when I'm in the mood to buy, I can buy intelligently. That having been said, Bergdorf Goodman has the greatest breadth of worthwhile brands of shoes of any store that I've been to, although the depth in some brands leaves something to be desired. 2. I'll pay more for Goodyear-welted shoes than I will for Blake-stitched, but I have no objection to Blake-stitched shoes per se. As I've said before, I have a thing for Gravati, which are mostly Blake-stitched.
post #4 of 4
Oh, and Andrew, I think that you've had enough time to recover. It's time to tell us about the Artisans' Collaborative at Louis Boston. Geez, what do we pay you for?
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