Originally Posted by Roguls
Uh, disagree again. Curmudgeon mode.
J. Crew has slowed production for all of the other vendors - who have far superior makeups - to a halt. I have their PT Tobacco Calf Boot, and it is nice, but all the makeups I've gotten from LS, Moulded, Anatomica, Leffot, Unionmade, Alden on Madison and Shoemart were better. Think of how excellent Alden of DC and SF makeups are. These are all small, traditional shoe/clothing shops, that obviously take the time to think up some different and exciting makeups. J.Crew has a big bank account and is somehow *corrupting* Alden. It's sad how infrequently you'll see new arrivals pop up at these shops while J.Crew has a shitload of their *okay* makeups in stock....
I agree to a certain extent, but respectfully disagree.
while J Crew undoubtedly puts a dent in the production schedule of alden, so many of the wonderful makeups from the boutiques you mentioned are in fairly exotic leathers. So, even if someone had the capital to place orders on a mass scale as j-crew does there really isn't enough material (such as exotic shells) to fulfill such an order.
I agree that J Crew has a number of middle of the road makeups, but others, such as the chomexcel indy and #8 shell chukka and captoe boot, are pure utility and pretty well thought out from a supply/demand standpoint.
Furthermore, Alden has been around for awhile and they wouldn't work with a retailer such as J Crew if it didnt make sense. (anecdotal evidence of them not agreeing to supply retailers within a certain proximity of eachother here in boston leads me to make such a statement)
The way I see it, they hedge deals with big companies such as J Crew so that they can expand their production, this allows them to keep up with the demand from those smaller boutiques with innovative ideas.
I look back a few years ago and there were just so many
shops carrying alden. J Crew has been dealing with them for a few years now, and it's been during this time that a lot of these smaller boutiques have blown up. I can't dismiss that as mere coincidence.