So I finally got my first pair of shell, alden j crew captoes. I'm happy with them, and normally I'm not one to complain about small imperfections on handmade items, but after so many mentions of QC issues in this thread I had to check the pair more diligently before I decide to keep them. I don't really care about the minor cosmetic defects I found, but I did want to be careful when it comes to construction issues. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
There is a loose string where the quarter meets the vamp (terminology?). and you can see an empty stitching hole where it came out of. It seems to be stable, but my worry is that it will continue to unravel, as this seems to be a high stress area of the shoe (hence why it is double stitched there).
Hopefully you guys will tell me that it is nothing, and I can start wearing the shoes without waiting months for an exchange.