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Advantages of a $1000 Pair of Shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MCanavan6, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    I would agree that eye catching unique shoes aren't necessarily the only way to appear expensively dressed.

    As to what comes to people's minds - that's based on their perceptions. Which are based on their personal exposure and experiences, myself included.

    And that's all that I'm saying - hang out at the Bulgari Hotel in Milan, the George V in Paris, the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona, the Corinthia in London, or the Armani Hotel in Dubai and you will quickly realize that G&G shoes on the TG73 last are not really all that out there at all in some circles. There are plenty of people in these and similar environments who are accustomed to so much more quality and variety in their attire than one might imagine without personal exposure to them. People who appreciate creativity and variety and have all the money in the world to indulge their habits. And, among this sort, if you see them in more private situations, their homes, their yachts, their jets, their super exclusive and unpublicized restaurants you are even more likely to see exotic hides, brighter colors etc. etc. than you see in public places. In this world my red G&Gs are not all that out there at all.

    And, by the way, those who dress classically and conservatively are likely to be wearing some pretty shaply shoes as well (think bespoke Cleverly or Lobb as exammples).
     
  2. grendel

    grendel Senior member

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    I actually agree with you on this. I'd compare it to when I was a college radio DJ and basically couldn't listen to anything "normal" or popular, and got into weird shit because everything else just sounded the same and boring.

    I think where this conversation went off track was that you were equating some of the stylistic choices of some of the shoes you like (beveled waist, sleek pointed last, etc) with the quality of the shoe. You can get some very well made high-quality shoes that don't have these stylistic choices.

    Pop music still sucks, though.

    But more to the point.... How do I get Vass delivered to my door for $550?
     
  3. Reevolving

    Reevolving Senior member

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    Buy used.
     
  4. Saratorial_Splender

    Saratorial_Splender Senior member

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    Not possible new. Even used, these shoes command more than $550. It is the old demand supply theory.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  5. grendel

    grendel Senior member

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    I figured, but someone was saying they could do it in this thread.
     
  6. gsugsu

    gsugsu Senior member

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    What does Vass charge for shipping to the U.S.?
     
  7. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    I feel you.

    Actually what I was attempting to point out was that the craftsmenship/skill/care that it takes to create the specific stylistic elements is part of what separates such a shoe from a lower quality model.

    Of course you can buy equally high quality shoes that don't have these specific features.

    What I can't seem to understand is this: Take two shoes of identical construction craftsmenship and quality, all internals the same, all factors the same except one has a much more detailed level of craftsmenship required to create a specific asthetic effect (conservative or adventurous doesn't matter). Because one took much more time and craftsmenship to create than the ofther, that makes it the higher quality shoe, no?

    Unless, of course, your criteria for quality is strictly related to durability and fit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  8. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Quote:AFAIK Vass charges ~420 EUR for Italian models (F, U, K) including VAT.
     
  9. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Quote:It's more about your weight and muscle tolerance than footwear; obesity and lack of any exercise will kill your feet regardless of what kind of shoes you wear...
     
  10. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

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    As an artist, i would say that artistry translates more to skill, not necessarily quality. Details definitely point to great skill in craftsmanship, but i always correlate quality more to material purity and construction. I suppose everyones definition is relative.

    Just my 2 cents on the shoe quality conversation...
     
  11. hendrix

    hendrix Senior member

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    Ding ding ding
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    So, in this model of thought craftsmenship for the sake of craftsmenship or tradition or simplicity is valued as quality but craftsmenship for the sake of visual beauty is not?
     
  13. hendrix

    hendrix Senior member

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    It seems to me that there are many, many ways to make a shoe. The reasons for choosing one over the other are inherently formed by tradition.

    But tradition in shoemaking is also a result of years of trial and error. Some methods have held up over the years and have become benchmarks of quality. Yes, it's tied in with tradition, but it's also traditional for a reason. Think about their goals - with the materials they had, and without the benefits of living in a first world country in a globalised capitalist world, mass produced synthetic shoes were simply not available. People had to figure out ways of doing things better. That is why tradition in shoemaking is valued; the goals were necessary.

    It can be successfully argued that traditional details are no longer relevant in the world we live; why do we need oak bark tanned soles when we can just topy any sole and it will last just as long? Why do we need to wear leather shoes anyway? We could buy $20 shoes every year and it will make complete financial sense to us. It's partly because fashion, social norms, and our perception is formed by what we know; it's formed by tradition and atmosphere. People wear suits to work because of tradition. But, more importantly; we like the idea of doing things the best way. We don't like disposable fashion.

    So craftmenship for the sake of craftmenship and tradition is already part of why we buy these shoes; we certainly don't need them. But if you remember that craftmenship and tradition arose for a distinct functional reason - part of that certainly being durability and fit - then you can understand that the methods retaining these formally functional details in a "because-that's-the-way-it-should-be" fashion are probably the best proxy for "quality" in such an industry. Sure, many people on SF will never wear through even the thinnest leather soles because they have collections ranging in the 100s, but that doesn't mean that you can't say that properly veggie tanned cow butt soles are better than any old leather.

    So yes, tradition and craftmenship is definitely part of what "quality" means to me, at least in the shoemaking field.

    Craftmenship for the sake of visual beauty:
    visual beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It doesn't make sense to compare art based on quality. OTOH, making a shoe attractive is definitely a skill; it's certainly true that lastmaking, for example, does not try to make a direct copy of a human foot, but also seeks to add beauty and architecture to the foot. But there are many ways of doing this, and it's not fair to say that one is better than the other.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
    3 people like this.
  14. grendel

    grendel Senior member

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  15. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    These are well articulated and interesting observations.

    But given that a shoe produced by modern methods can perform as well as one made with traditional methods and that one cannot quantify that the traditional methods produce a more durable shoe, then isn't the love of craftsmenship or tradition just another preference, or emotional response?

    I'm not saying the response isn't valid, just that it is no different than a response to asthetics.

    Further, your attempt to 'rationalize' the 'traditional' styles is to ignore the fact that the 'traditional' and timeless styles you so revere all developed in the 20th century and are merely representative of an extremely long evolution of styles and shapes. Actually there are no such things as 'timeless' in terms of the design of attire. Merely a range of stylistic elements that are tweaked and recombined periodically. Yes, men's styles change more slowly than womens styles but to in any way imply that something is truly timeless is to ignore the historical evidence.

    Without evidence to support the idea that 'the old ways are the best ways' to simply follow this ideal is to potentially miss the possibility that in fact modern methods, means, etc. etc. may well result in a superior product at a reduced cost. And is thus, nothing revering the old ways is nothing more than sentimentality taken to an extreme and codified into 'rules'.

    I completely understand that we will likely never agree. That's not the point, btw. The point is to have an intelligent discussion and to expand our ability to think critically. Shoes are just a topic to work with.

    Again, your post above impresses me. Well said.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  16. rikod

    rikod Senior member

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    Oh come on, you don't read what other people post??, you just have to live outside Europe and not pay VAT.
    420 Euro x .80 (no Vat, more or less) = $340 + 50Euro shipping = 390 Euro. 390 Euro x 1.3 = $510 delivered to your door including trees.

    If you don't want to order directly, order thru Kolecho, price is reasonable and you can order any configuration you want. Myself and other have posted this many times and still people think they have to pay 1K for Vass, this is ridiculous.
     
  17. hendrix

    hendrix Senior member

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    Well, I'm yet to see a modern method that does perform as well as traditional methods in dress shoes - I haven't seen a modern method that is dedicated towards superior fit and durability and anti-disposability, but I will agree that it's a preference.

    Being that we're buying these shoes based on that preference for traditionally made shoes, I would've thought that it's a preference most here would share.


    Believe me, noone is in more agreement with you here. You're talking about design though, not quality.


    Yup but i'm not quite saying that "the old ways are the best ways". I'm saying that we're all seeking the old form of craftmanship because of the goals that it valued. It's these goals in manufacturing that make up quality.

    We still sometimes see this today: look at Arc'teryx Veilance
    granted, much of this is marketing talk, but there's a dedication to a goal there that's admirable. It's not seeking to make things faster or cheaper, it's seeking to make things better.

    Another example: feit footwear. There's a dedication to doing everything the best way the can. Check out the handlasting and handwelting btw, interesting that a company clearly not averse to the use of modern stylings and materials still chooses traditional making methods because it believes them to be superior.

    I wear sneakers that are not made traditionally. I know the advantages of traditional construction.

    I do actually believe that traditional construction methods hold a significant advantage over modern methods in the shoemaking industry.


    But it's the attitude of the makers and their dedication that holds the most value to me. That attitude generally results in quality, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  18. Liquidus

    Liquidus Senior member

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    For those of us not familiar with Vass (except for the hype), what's the advantage of ordering through a proxy vs direct? I'm not sure who Kolecho is, but I found this thread and the guy charges $730.
     
  19. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    We could, of course, debate from here to hell and back regarding the actual advantages of a completely hand made shoe. But as you have acknowledged that one chooses such at least partially as a personal preference I think we can agree to have different priorities and no love lost?

    I can, of course, go on with the dissection of the logic if you wish, however. :D

    I personally find the debate challenging and interesting - but worry that I will overstay my welcome if I don't let it be.
     
  20. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    He has lowered his prices recently due to a more advantagous exchange rate. Why use a proxy? Convenience and expert advice, of course.
     

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