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Church's Custom Grade vs Prima Classe?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Fashionslave, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. Fashionslave

    Fashionslave Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Anyone know what is the difference between the Prima Classe and Custom Grade lines from Church's??I always assumed the Custom Grades were the top of the line ,but mabe not. It seems I've seen alot of Prima Classe latelty.
     
  2. armscye

    armscye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    I have several pairs of each, but dating back a couple of years to the Pre-Prada era. The one constant seems to be that the Prima Classe shoes I have are not English make. This may or may not be true in 2004, YMMV.
     
  3. Kaga

    Kaga Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    382
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    KS Prefecture
    If my memory serves me correctly, I too possess a pair of Prima Classe "Handmade in Italy" "for Church's" boots. These were produced for Church's before the Prada takeover and were inferior to and cheaper than the Custom Grade line. I imagine the aim was to go after a somewhat broader market (with a slightly cheaper shoe) which esteemed Italian design and manufacture (hence made in Italy). Similarly, I have heard that the NYC Turnbull and Asser store attempted to sell made-in-Italy clothing when it first opened. This was in a similar effort to capture an imagined consumer slavish to "made in Italy" and ignorant of English quality.
    Indeed, the Church's salespeople with whom I have spoken have appeared somewhat dismissive of the line, which I do not believe is produced anymore. However, I cannot so state with certainty. The Prada takeover did lead to Church's streamlining its product lines... and to some truly regrettable models.
    KAGA Takeshi
    By the way, if my memory serves me correctly, in America it is the holiday known as "Thanksgiving". Happy Thanksgiving to my American viewers. Perhaps you may expect the "Thanksgiving battle" coming to a Fuji TV station near you.
     
  4. My View

    My View Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    107
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Location:
    Singapore
    I personally have not heard of Prima Classe, perhaps because I have not seen it in the Church boutiques I have visited (Hong Kong and London)

    What I do know is Church has recently added a new line called "Royal" which is marketed as a grade above "Custom Grade" (which I understood to be the top range when I bought a pair about 3 years ago).  The "Royal" line is at the same price point as Edward Greens and because my experience with my only pair of Church "Cusotm Grade" has not been good (cracked leather, white sediments after contact with rain, deep permanent creases with normal wear and proper care), and I hear some bad things about Church after the Prada takeover, I will give it a miss.

    Edward Greens, while not exactly cheap (especially with the appreciation of the mighty pound), are some of my best buys.
     
  5. Horace

    Horace Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,447
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    I bought a pair of custom-grade Churchs shortly after (in 2000 or so?) Prada takeover.

    It was the Anglesey model. Good looking shoe, but leather not so good. Very disappointed. Won't buy another pair.
     

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