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Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread 2016 - News, Pictures, Sizing, Accessories, Clothing, etc

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by watchidiot, Feb 12, 2016.

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  1. donkeyhoatie

    donkeyhoatie Senior member

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    Yeah, that seems about right. They are so ugly, but nothing beats the convenience factor when you know you're changing into something else. I'll do some penance tomorrow and wear only respectable footwear. Maybe my black PAs with black socks and shorts. I'll yell at the kids to get off my lawn.
     


  2. Oinkedmoo

    Oinkedmoo Well-Known Member

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    The guessing game is fun! The sales associates at Reston Town Center did say that the Cornwallis and the Strand would be on sale this Sunday, but they had no idea about a new leather. They said chili was the color they've been pushing.
     


  3. ace13x

    ace13x Senior member

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    Sex, Shoes, and Rock-n-Roll. [​IMG]
     


  4. BespokeBrooklyn

    BespokeBrooklyn Senior member

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    I admit that I purchased several pairs of those when I first started working and needed to go from one pair of black interview shoes to being in court four or five days a week. Johnston & Murphy's "Harding" bluchers. I'm glad those days are over.

     


  5. FaRKle

    FaRKle Senior member

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    Mission report, Dec. 16, 1991:

    Err May 20th, 2016:

    Paul G was kind enough to let me bend his ear today for about a half an hour at the SF Embarcadero store. Here's a summary of the topics we discussed and his thoughts/comments on them:

    1) New "midnight blue" styles:
    Paul confirmed that there will be a new midnight blue calf leather debuting soon, and said that it'll be on all of his favorite shoes. IIRC that included the Cornwallis, Strand, Cheetah, Renegade, and Sea Island. Additionally, there will be another blue leather debuting this fall. It's supposed to be a bit lighter in color, though still dark. He mentioned that it'd be about the same color as the Navy shell Dundees I was wearing today. I asked if we might also see a navy chromexcel leather run, and he said there weren't any plans to.

    2) MTO program:
    Paul said that you should be able to get any standard shoe made in shell cordovan. I specifically asked about the Cornwallis, after @Dd1101 posted that the WC store said that MTO wasn't available on the 1943 last. Paul said that you should be able to get the Cornwallis MTO'd in shell.

    MTO/SMU options include sole changes, leather changes, and non-standard sizes. Specifically excluded were linings, stitching, eyelets, and welts.

    Also, Paul mentioned that MTO is a tricky service to offer because since we're paying more for it, we expect perfection, but on the manufacturing side it kind of throws the employees off since they're so used to following a set procedure and all of a sudden they have to do things differently.

    3) Retailer exclusives/variations:
    I asked Paul if retailer exclusives/variations were limited to what those retailers offered on their websites only. I was curious if sizes that aren't standard for that retailer could be ordered. Paul said that the retailer can order whatever sizes AE offers, so for instance if you wanted an E-width Madison Park from Nordstrom, or <size 8 Brooks Brothers' Tartan Shaker Heights, AE will happily make it if your Nordstrom/BB sales associate puts in the order.

    I also found out that many retailers don't stock much AE product and that most of it is pulled from AE stocks and drop shipped from AE.

    4) Quality control:
    Paul expressed that he's not content with where the company is in terms of QC today and that there are initiatives in place to try and improve it. They are implementing processes to monitor and evaluate their inspectors and craftsmen. Part of this is to try and implement a shoe tracking system so that if a shoe comes back, they'll know who worked on/inspected it. This should help identify employees that require more training/mentoring.

    One thing he said that bothers him, is when people assume the QC problems are due to AE being owned by a PE firm and that they're just in it for the profit. It's very clear that he cares and has a passion for the brand, and that improving the quality of the shoes is important to him.

    I asked what the daily production rate was to get an idea of what the percentage of shoes with QC issues is, and he told me that it's upwards of 2000 shoes per day. Paul and I both agreed that a decent amount of QC complaints were really nitpicky and trivial. I also told him about two pairs of AEs I received this week, where one was pristine, and the other had some big flaws (such as untrimmed threads from the inside that were about 6-8" long and glue oozing out of places). He said that mistakes like that were unacceptable and that those kinds of things were the ones he was trying to improve on.

    One thing I mentioned was that some people get frustrated when they think there's something wrong with their shoe and the CAC tells them that even with the defect, it meets AE's specs. I asked Paul if he thought it'd be a good idea to release what their specs are so that people know what to expect, or if that information had to be kept internal due to competitors copying it/using that information against AE. He said it was the latter, and that if I took a look at some of their competitors, such as J&M, that a lot of what they've done in the past couple of years is a copy of AE.

    Overall, it was a great chat and Paul was very patient with me and my questioning. I wish him luck in achieving his goals!
     


  6. ProfilaBinding

    ProfilaBinding Senior member

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    That was an awesome post to read.

    So excited to know they are going to start selling some navy / dark blue shoes. I can only hope they do this to one of my styles (Leeds, Carlyle, Lasalle, etc.). Definitely would not miss that chance if they offer it.

    Glad to also see they are aware of the QC problems. I honestly don't mind it too much, because slight blemishes means I will save money on 2nds. I know this isn't ideal for AE though.
     


  7. naspratt

    naspratt Senior member

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    Despite the hand-made nature of AE shoes, industrial shoemaking is a far cry from actual hand-crafting. All this notwithstanding, I would think they assign their best (most seasoned?)employees to MTO orders. If $125 isn't enough to ensure perfection,* while still meeting production quotas, they should up the fee. *Not because I think perfection is reasonable to expect at $125 over retail, but because MTO customers likely represent the power users who are more likely to complain vocally in public. But if shell really is available for all stock models... Damn. Might need to get in on 15% off. Guys, do your wives believe that Father's Day is for shell? Because I'm pretty sure mine needs to.
     


  8. RTD1

    RTD1 Senior member

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    Fantastic. Heck, stamp a serial number into the inside of every shoe. This would have a number of other benefits. It creates an "individually made" feel for the customer. It also would potentially allow AE to track much more than just who made the shoe, but also the materials used, production date, history of recrafts, etc.
     


  9. mreams99

    mreams99 Senior member

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    @FaRKle
    In regards to MTO, you mentioned:

    2) MTO program:
    Paul said that you should be able to get any standard shoe made in shell cordovan. I specifically asked about the Cornwallis, after @Dd1101 posted that the WC store said that MTO wasn't available on the 1943 last. Paul said that you should be able to get the Cornwallis MTO'd in shell.

    MTO/SMU options include sole changes, leather changes, and non-standard sizes. Specifically excluded were linings, stitching, eyelets, and welts.

    Does this mean that the MTO program is back, or does this only apply to shell cordovan?
     


  10. Count de Monet

    Count de Monet Senior member

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    I had put these away for the season but unpacked them for an impromptu camping trip.

    [​IMG]
     


  11. BackInTheJox

    BackInTheJox Senior member

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    I like the idea of navy or midnight blue leather (especially on shoes like the Cornwallis or Carlyle) in theory; however, I'm not sure they would ever really find a home in my rotation. I don't know how/when I would wear them!
     


  12. Count de Monet

    Count de Monet Senior member

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    Mt. Nebo. Arkansas River Valley.

    [​IMG]
     


  13. LanceM

    LanceM Senior member

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    Here you go

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016


  14. peppercorn78

    peppercorn78 Senior member

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    Grey, tan, olive, burgundy, or brown suits and trousers!

    I've got two pairs of blue shoes. While they're both on the casual end of the spectrum, I really enjoy them and find them quite versatile.
     


  15. LanceM

    LanceM Senior member

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    That's great you got to talk to him. I feel he does have a passion for the company. I do love my AEs. I think I have like 14 pairs acquired in a few years, but I feel like I am accepting more and more flaws for a 1st shoe. This is even after having my SA order 3 pairs for me to choose from. However, it feels amazing when you get a perfect shoe. Am I picky? Yes, very. I feel like I can spot irregularities in many things since I work with Aerospace QC. But to me, some issues are obvious and if someone took a minute to look at a shoe and took pride in their work these shoes would not go out as firsts. That is the main reason I'd like to see what their QC standards are and what they feel meets tolerance on a hand produced shoe. Maybe that would temper my expectations or maybe it could be a really good marketing gimmic 212 steps and one can be skipped. But, I truly understand that those standards are proprietary to the company. I think the MTO now isn't worth it. It was a great run for style forum though and we may have killed having our fun, but I wish a welt and sole edge dressing could be changed. I think I would have more pairs of I could change those alone. The shoes are great but the SAs are even better. I have contacts at many stores that I visit when I travel for work. They and the price point is the main reason I keep buy AEs. I think my new shoe strategy will be less quantity and more shell and quality. Just my opinion. I still really enjoy the shoes and always get compliments on them.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016


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