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My meeting with G&G

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by LARon, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. LARon

    LARon Well-Known Member

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    Finally had my appoinment with G&G (Tony and Dean, that is). They're both pretty young, 34 and 36, respectively, and as earnest and hungry to succeed as two young entrepreneurs should be. They were set up in a suite in the elegant Huntington Hotel on San Francisco's Nob Hill (nice touch). The main room was overflowing with shoes of all types and dozens of leather swatches. They also had a laptop containing a portfolio of all of Tony's EG bespoke designs (yet, another nice touch).

    Tony explained without equivocation that, concurrent with his departure, EG officially exited the bespoke business. (I know there's been some back and forth on this issue among forum members. But, Tony, who seemed very aware of the buzz surrounding their launch, sought to put that discrepancy to rest). Interestingly, they expressed a bit of discomfort with how widely they've become known, apparently through a number of different fora, including this one. They even said they'd already met some forum members --way to go guys! He also explained that they reason they felt it time to part company with EG is that, as a designer -- and a young one at that -- they felt the old English makers are just two stodgy and staid and unwise to (and uninterested in) the power of marketing, which he and Dean already seem to have a knack for.

    They're expecting around 80% of their business to come form the U.S. and Japan, and are planning to make regular bi-annual trips to the U.S. After returning to the current cities in March or April for second fittings for all bespoke orders, they'll be adding Boston and D.C. to next year's circuit. Now, on to my purchases . . .

    With so many designs to choose from, it really helps to have a good idea going in of what one would like to buy. Otherwise, you could get all turned around and take forever to choose (time they really don't have when other appointments are scheduled). Fortunately, I had three choices and, despite drifting around for about 20 minutes, I kept my discipline. I was planning to go for two bespoke models and hoped I could get a good proximation of my third choice in a MTO. Unfortunately, that was not to be; none of their MTO full brogues looked nearly as nice as the bespoke design I'd wanted to shadow.

    So, here, once again, are my two bespoke selections (second fitting to be in March or April, with delivery around six weeks thereafter, or about a 7 month turn around).


    I'll go for the third choice next fall. If you're planning to meet with them, be prepared to encounter two really nice guys. I bid them well, and hopped my return to LA.

    P.S. Tony promised to make my two selections "sing." (I love a confident artisan, and can hardly wait!)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Christofuh

    Christofuh Well-Known Member

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  3. luk-cha

    luk-cha Well-Known Member

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    great stuff, so what was the brogue you wanted? simular to the 1 on centipedes site? also let me comend you on you choices they are pretty much simular to what i have in mind too! keep us informed!

    ps will your shoes be both on the same last stle or 2 different shapes also didi you keep true to the pics with the colors and leathers too?
     
  4. LARon

    LARon Well-Known Member

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    great stuff, so what was the brogue you wanted? simular to the 1 on centipedes site? also let me comend you on you choices they are pretty much simular to what i have in mind too! keep us informed!

    ps will your shoes be both on the same last stle or 2 different shapes also didi you keep true to the pics with the colors and leathers too?


    Told them I wanted them just as they appear in the samples, except for two small details: 1) I want three eyelets on the v-front derby instead of the two in the model, and 2) I chose a rich cognac color instead of burgundy for the medallion pair. Incidentally, both of these pair are available in MTO, however, the MTOs (which they had on display) just aren't the same, IMHO.

    For example, the level of toe chiseling and waist beveling that, to my mind, define the "Hayes" model (the burgundy pair) simply doesn't exist in MTO; which makes sense considering that they're being offered for a generic foot. Similarly, the detailing of the V in the Wiltshire (the v-front derby) is not nearly as pronounced as in the model. Also, the entire front of the model, including the V, is made from a single piece of leather, so no stitching is needed to join to overlapping pieces of leather. This, along with the finer detailing of the V, to my mind, makes for a much more aesthetically pleasing line.

    Here is my third choice (while they do offer some generic/traditional full brogues, none tickled my fancy nearly as much as these):
    [​IMG]
     
  5. designprofessor

    designprofessor Well-Known Member

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    PM'd a few questions.
    dprof
     
  6. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations Ron! Two excellent choices. [​IMG]
     
  7. johninla

    johninla Well-Known Member

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    Great looking shoes. Congrats! Do they plan, did they mention, coming to LA?
    John
     
  8. LARon

    LARon Well-Known Member

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    I told them they ought to consider adding LA and Chicago, that's when they mentioned Boston and D.C. Tony said they need a year or two to get a sense of how the business will grow, which only makes sense (especially since they intend to do second fittings that necessarily obligates them to return to their first stops) but that they definitely can foresee adding LA.

    Dean's only comment about Chicago, which Tony seconded, was that "its cold there." Yet another example of British understatement.
     
  9. LARon

    LARon Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations Ron! Two excellent choices. [​IMG]

    Thanks.
     
  10. dirk diggler

    dirk diggler Well-Known Member

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    so I guess adding the Detroit area is off then, huh? LOL!. Well, lucky for me, I can justify "business" trips to chicago or DC.
     
  11. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Well-Known Member

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    Well done post, excellent shoes.
     
  12. LARon

    LARon Well-Known Member

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  13. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Well-Known Member

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    Awesome, LARon, congrats. I imagine the wait will test your patience . . .
     
  14. LARon

    LARon Well-Known Member

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    Awesome, LARon, congrats. I imagine the wait will test your patience . . .

    Most perceptive post yet-- you couldn't be more right.
     
  15. svtrader

    svtrader Member

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    Your third choice would be my first. Those are nicest wingtips I've ever seen. The medallion is beautiful.
     
  16. scottSF

    scottSF Member

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    I visited Tony and Dean in SF and marvelled at the samples on display.

    Particularly impressive were the channeled soles, fiddleback waists, and the elegant smaller heels all at a price equivalent to comparable RTW shoes I own which do not possess the same features.

    I ordered the Rothschild in Rosewood and the Connaught in Vintage Rioja.
    Both on the Mitchell- TG73 last (classic square). Trees were extra.

    My decision to order 2 pairs MTO instead of bespoke taking into consideration what I currently wear in my rotation and my budget. To complete my year's shoe purchase, I would like a monk, probably the RLPL Grant.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. LARon

    LARon Well-Known Member

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    Your third choice would be my first. Those are nicest wingtips I've ever seen. The medallion is beautiful.

    Agreed, and it wasn't an easy choice. But, a choice had to be made. I very well may order them in March, on their return visit. (see next post)
     
  18. LARon

    LARon Well-Known Member

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    The Rothschild scottSF ordered is the RTW version of the bespoke pair I elected to pass on.
     
  19. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

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    I saw Tony and Dean this morning for the first fitting of my bespoke shoe, a very sleek horsebit loafer with a split toe in a reddish-brown aniline leather (ie. no antiquing). It was improbably sleek even on my foot and with all the stuff Tony had to add to accommodate my terrible feet. We were pretty happy all around, and the only change necessary was tightening up the heel to get rid of some heel slippage.

    I had a chance to see the G&G RTW line, and they were nice: imagine the current EG line, but with nicer sole finishing, higher, shaped heels, and a slightly more chiseled toe. If they can meet demand (and they seemed to be confident of this), it's going to be a great value compared to EG: it's basically a nicer EG for substantially less money. Tony also says that these shoes are the next evolutionary step for EG had he stayed with them. His next comment gave an interesting insight to him and the English shoe industry: he says that 20 or 30 years from now when he gets complacent, he expects another hungry, young shoemaker to do the same thing to him as he's done to EG. Apparently, that's how it's always been in Northhampton, and I suppose in any other competitive field.

    We talked about a bunch of other things including a bespoke opera pump. Though he and Dean politely tried to convince me that a wholecut was appropriate and a whole lot more versatile, I wasn't having any of it. [​IMG] So Tony relented and said that if he were doing a bespoke pump, he'd want one in black stingray! That's an intriguing thought, but thankfully I'll have lots of time to talk myself out of it as I break in and see how the loafers go before ordering another shoe.

    Anyway, the point is that these are a couple of interesting, forthright guys, and are lots of fun to work with.

    --Andre
     
  20. aportnoy

    aportnoy Well-Known Member

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    LA Ron, Andre and Scott...congrats on your new addiitons, they all sound exquisite![​IMG]

    I keep telling myself to stay away but this is making it extremely difficult. Have the fellas been to NYC yet?[​IMG]
     

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