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ALLEN EDMONDS APPRECIATION THREAD 2021: News, pictures, clothing, accessories, etc.

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Neo1

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Thanks for the kind words! You guys have always been so kind to me and my team. I do feel responsible for touching on this briefly and explaining myself. I've been popping into the store at odd hours or answering emails/dms here when I have the time and extra energy just to help wrap everything up, but there is part of me that feels like I should definitely point out that this is abnormal and that no one from AE should be held to that standard in any way. I just happened to be up and around, lol. I don't want to set unhealthy/unreasonable expectations for others in the company at all.
I wanted to add to this. A couple hours ago I got off the phone with Jason for what will probably be the last time. Unlike a lot of other guys around these days, I purchased the majority of AEs from Freeport, a lot from Paramus but more than a few from Charleston.

I have worked with and interacted with many associates from the various retail stores - in Massachusetts, New York, Florida, California, North Carolina, Wisconsin just to name a few. I'm not going to lie, I'm no longer going to sugar coat this to death. Even though the large majority of my collection is made up of AE, it has definitely been an "uphill" process. I have met some real monsters in my time - my closest local retail store cycled through many sales associates over a period of time. I won't mention any names (not going to be that cruel) but I will point out some of the behaviors -

- I walked in to pick up two paid in full orders and was told to wait while the associate allowed a young, about to start college guy basically trash the store trying on everything in the inventory. At the end after she thrust her business card into his face he left with nothing. After waiting a full 45 minutes she was brusque, rude and impolite with me, being crystal clear in letting me know it didn't make sense for her to spend time with me vs. the other guy because my purchases were made through the manager and wouldn't go towards her commission. This same associate I recall made fun of me for up to 5 minutes when I mentioned the Overlord, saying AE would never release anything with a name out of a sci-fi movie.

- I had another associate tell me she couldn't ring in purchases because she didn't know how to use the cash register. She was, however, very quick to ask me if she could walk around barefoot trying on the Verona in various colors asking me if they looked feminine enough.

- I had an employee who was so rude, so impatient and so obnoxious, talking through me and trying to finish my sentences (and getting them wildly wrong). When I saw her through the window I would usually turn and walk in the other direction. One time believe it or not she was there with Jay Clay and I could see he was thrown by her behavior but couldn't say anything while I was around.

- A "transplant" from a J&M store who walked around the store with a huge tatoo of a dagger juxtaposed against a cursive "I hate men" once rushed me when I was trying something on and when I hesitated even for a couple minutes grabbed the box away saying it "had to be shipped back immediately" as they had absolutely no room whatsoever for extra pairs. [When Ben Sweeney, my old associate from Freeport spent a bit of time filling in, he told me they had literally TONS of room / empty spaces and had no idea what the complaints were about]

- The first assistant manager I ever worked with was an interesting character. Unlike many of the others who clearly knew nothing about the company, this one definitely had some level of working knowledge. Unfortunately, she was quite rude, quite obnoxious and quite arrogant, and things she didn't know she would fill in with BS and with absolute certainty / confidence.

During this year's RDA sale, because of my situation at work I had very limited opportunities to make phone calls right at the start date. I had a very hard time getting through to Charleston. I wound up calling (at various times) the stores at Port (retail & outlet), Brookfield & Mebane. I can't remember who said what at this point, but I was literally told:
1. Prices would be as marked on shoebank with no discounts other than what was shown. Anything without a cross-out was excluded. The RDA discounts were "across the board" on 1sts but only on a very select few for 2nds.
2. The discounts were on 1st quality only, factory 2nds were excluded altogether.
3. The pre-sale / early day collector's discount only applied to 1st quality
4. The pre-sale discount only applied online.
5. The RDA sale didn't start the day early like everything else, the websites were wrong and you had to wait until the day-of to actually ring in a purchase.
All of these comments, again, were made with absolute certainty. No "checking with a manger" about anything. This was absolutely how it was without question.

In summary, I've learned to avoid non SMs at all costs, and basically to second guess anything and everything unless it specifically came out Kristen's mouth.

But in the process I worked with Jason a few times. Jason is super knowledgeable, super friendly, and has always been really really patient with me and my obsessiveness over sizing / fit questions. He knows the products inside & out and can navigate the inventory/pricing side without a hitch. As someone who is not a store manager, he was shockingly awesome compared to anyone I've ever worked with, and I would say he's definitely among the top associates of anyone I've worked with from AE in general. I think he could have easily had his own concept store.

I definitely feel like this will be a loss when the store closes at the end of the month. I wanted to wish Jason the best of luck in any future endeavors.

[And I apologize for the above rant - this really got me worked up]
 

Neo1

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M635Guy

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With all the news, I realized I haven't worn my Allen Edmonds in a while. Since this is my last working week of the year and I actually have to go in the office a couple times, I decided if I'm wearing non-sneakers this week, I'll be wearing something from AE.

With that, today's shoe is the tan nubuck Strandmoks (which were ordered from the factory with JR soles):


These are pretty sublime shoes, and I'm so glad I tried an 11.5E in the 5-last after thinking it just wasn't going to work...
 

MajorDash

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I wanted to add to this. A couple hours ago I got off the phone with Jason for what will probably be the last time. Unlike a lot of other guys around these days, I purchased the majority of AEs from Freeport, a lot from Paramus but more than a few from Charleston.

I have worked with and interacted with many associates from the various retail stores - in Massachusetts, New York, Florida, California, North Carolina, Wisconsin just to name a few. I'm not going to lie, I'm no longer going to sugar coat this to death. Even though the large majority of my collection is made up of AE, it has definitely been an "uphill" process. I have met some real monsters in my time - my closest local retail store cycled through many sales associates over a period of time. I won't mention any names (not going to be that cruel) but I will point out some of the behaviors -

- I walked in to pick up two paid in full orders and was told to wait while the associate allowed a young, about to start college guy basically trash the store trying on everything in the inventory. At the end after she thrust her business card into his face he left with nothing. After waiting a full 45 minutes she was brusque, rude and impolite with me, being crystal clear in letting me know it didn't make sense for her to spend time with me vs. the other guy because my purchases were made through the manager and wouldn't go towards her commission. This same associate I recall made fun of me for up to 5 minutes when I mentioned the Overlord, saying AE would never release anything with a name out of a sci-fi movie.

- I had another associate tell me she couldn't ring in purchases because she didn't know how to use the cash register. She was, however, very quick to ask me if she could walk around barefoot trying on the Verona in various colors asking me if they looked feminine enough.

- I had an employee who was so rude, so impatient and so obnoxious, talking through me and trying to finish my sentences (and getting them wildly wrong). When I saw her through the window I would usually turn and walk in the other direction. One time believe it or not she was there with Jay Clay and I could see he was thrown by her behavior but couldn't say anything while I was around.

- A "transplant" from a J&M store who walked around the store with a huge tatoo of a dagger juxtaposed against a cursive "I hate men" once rushed me when I was trying something on and when I hesitated even for a couple minutes grabbed the box away saying it "had to be shipped back immediately" as they had absolutely no room whatsoever for extra pairs. [When Ben Sweeney, my old associate from Freeport spent a bit of time filling in, he told me they had literally TONS of room / empty spaces and had no idea what the complaints were about]

- The first assistant manager I ever worked with was an interesting character. Unlike many of the others who clearly knew nothing about the company, this one definitely had some level of working knowledge. Unfortunately, she was quite rude, quite obnoxious and quite arrogant, and things she didn't know she would fill in with BS and with absolute certainty / confidence.

During this year's RDA sale, because of my situation at work I had very limited opportunities to make phone calls right at the start date. I had a very hard time getting through to Charleston. I wound up calling (at various times) the stores at Port (retail & outlet), Brookfield & Mebane. I can't remember who said what at this point, but I was literally told:
1. Prices would be as marked on shoebank with no discounts other than what was shown. Anything without a cross-out was excluded. The RDA discounts were "across the board" on 1sts but only on a very select few for 2nds.
2. The discounts were on 1st quality only, factory 2nds were excluded altogether.
3. The pre-sale / early day collector's discount only applied to 1st quality
4. The pre-sale discount only applied online.
5. The RDA sale didn't start the day early like everything else, the websites were wrong and you had to wait until the day-of to actually ring in a purchase.
All of these comments, again, were made with absolute certainty. No "checking with a manger" about anything. This was absolutely how it was without question.

In summary, I've learned to avoid non SMs at all costs, and basically to second guess anything and everything unless it specifically came out Kristen's mouth.

But in the process I worked with Jason a few times. Jason is super knowledgeable, super friendly, and has always been really really patient with me and my obsessiveness over sizing / fit questions. He knows the products inside & out and can navigate the inventory/pricing side without a hitch. As someone who is not a store manager, he was shockingly awesome compared to anyone I've ever worked with, and I would say he's definitely among the top associates of anyone I've worked with from AE in general. I think he could have easily had his own concept store.

I definitely feel like this will be a loss when the store closes at the end of the month. I wanted to wish Jason the best of luck in any future endeavors.

[And I apologize for the above rant - this really got me worked up]

Not to hate on any of the AE associates, but honestly most of my interactions with the Shoebanks have been pretty subpar. I understand that I usually call during the busy sale times, but still. Everyone at Charleston was great to work with and was very accommodating. I don't even know what other of the Shoebank stores to look for SMU seconds at going forward.

The PW Shoebank is downright trash. I have never gotten off the phone with them without feeling frustrated.
 

Neo1

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Not to hate on any of the AE associates, but honestly most of my interactions with the Shoebanks have been pretty subpar. I understand that I usually call during the busy sale times, but still. Everyone at Charleston was great to work with and was very accommodating. I don't even know what other of the Shoebank stores to look for SMU seconds at going forward.

The PW Shoebank is downright trash. I have never gotten off the phone with them without feeling frustrated.
Oh - thanks so much for reminding me! Almost forgot.

I was told by different people at the PW (albeit not super recently)
1. SMUs were a walk-in type of item only and couldn't be sold over the phone, so no point checking.
2. There was no way to just "search inventory" for a particular size, that would be totally infeasible. What was on the website was 100%
 

Neo1

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With all the news, I realized I haven't worn my Allen Edmonds in a while. Since this is my last working week of the year and I actually have to go in the office a couple times, I decided if I'm wearing non-sneakers this week, I'll be wearing something from AE.

With that, today's shoe is the tan nubuck Strandmoks (which were ordered from the factory with JR soles):
These are pretty sublime shoes, and I'm so glad I tried an 11.5E in the 5-last after thinking it just wasn't going to work...
This guy's a riot. You know without a shadow of a doubt he's gonna switch over to the Brass Boot the minute he puts the camera down.
 

Neo1

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M635guy is like the unofficial ambassador to GS. Be careful or he'll turn you to the dark side - and the force is strong with him.
 

M635Guy

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Like many of you I'm sad to hear about what's going on. I tend to take a philosophical view on stuff like this in general, and have to say I'm very grateful to the folks in the stores I've worked with over the years - San Fran Sutter St., Mebane and especially the Charleston store and Ashley in particular.

This guy's a riot. You know without a shadow of a doubt he's gonna switch over to the Brass Boot the minute he puts the camera down.
Shockingly, I don't have a pair of Brass Boots, and probably won't. Not really my aesthetic and the vibes I get are that the last is closer to the RedWing last than Truebalance, which means I'm not feeling very adventurous.

I'm still running the Standmoks, and have to say I'm kicking myself for not wearing them more often. That's doubly-true of the pair I'm wearing tomorrow...
 

Shoenut

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I liked the way PW used to be set up. All by size. You could walk to your size and see the shoes. Now it is set up by style and all the good close out and dot stuff is in the back. Now, you have to talk with an SA. I like Jeane at the Shoebank. I just tell her what I am looking for and my size in the different lasts and in a few minutes I have some options to look at in the requested category. 90% of my purchases come from Kim in Oakbrook.
 

JFWR

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That subtle marbling on the black shaved shell is exquisite! The marbling could still work with a conservative wardrobe, while the "watermelon" shell... not so much! Some 8D customer is going to be super happy with those.
I'm about to charge royalties on "watermelon shell", as I declare that I was the first one to come up with that description.
 

Roycru

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Wore the brown Kudu Neumoks again today because I got them to wear fairly often, they are very comfortable, and they are slip proof.

While waiting for a train noticed the Meltonian neutral shoe polish I had used, following the advice to always use neutral on Kudu, had turned white in some places. From now on will only use Bick 4 on them.

IMG_0293.jpeg


For fans of "A-E In The Wild" pictures, A-E on a train.

I was not the only passenger in this car. There was a lady at a table downstairs transfixed by her laptop.

IMG_0296 2.jpeg


For fans of food pictures in shoe threads, a Starbuck's Venti Chai Latte, a Cranberry Bliss Bar, and me.. Only go to Starbuck's when they have Cranberry Bliss Bars.

The weird green glow on the right is not a creature from outer space. It is an Amtrak self-serve ticket machine.

Sometimes you hear the expression, "something has your name on it" The Starbuck's Venti Chai Latte had my name on it.

IMG_0333.jpeg


For fans of random Christmas pictures in shoe threads, the Christmas Tree at the place I still call Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal is much bigger than I am.

IMG_0318.jpeg


The Christmas Trees inside are smaller but there are more of them.

IMG_0320.jpeg


For those who want more Christmas at LAUPT pictures, here's one more.

IMG_0321.jpeg
 

Neo1

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I'm about to charge royalties on "watermelon shell", as I declare that I was the first one to come up with that description.
Watermelon sugar.....high.
 
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