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Bernhard Roetzel's Latest Thoughts on Shoes

Sator

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In the last week or so I have been exchanging emails with Bernhard Roetzel, author of the book "Gentleman". There are many post in the archives asking why he recommends Church's shoes as he does in his book. Many of us would doubtless love to have asked him his current thoughts.

Well, here I have his answer on the subject of Church's and other shoes which I would like to share - with Bernhard Roetzel's permission - with everyone (my translation follows):


Church's war Ende der Neunziger, als ich das Buch verfasst habe, sehr gut. Church's hatte immer eine gute Verarbeitung, war vom Finish des Leders aber nie so ästhetisch wie Edward Green. Die Substanz war aber immer gut. Ich stimme Ihnen zu, dass heute Crockett & Jones besser ist, auch Tricker's bietet gute Qualität. Edward Green ist eine Klasse für sich. Ich kenne Hilary Freeman ganz gut, ich habe sie mal bei Robin Guinness (Export Sales Director von Crockett & Jones) beim Sunday Lunch kennengelernt. Grenson hat sich in den letzten Jahren sehr verbessert. Die Schuhe von Vass sind von der Stange okay, die Maßschuhe können sich aber nicht mit den berühmten Londoner, Pariser und Wiener Maßschuhmachern messen. Ich selbst trage seit ein paar Jahren am liebsten die Schuhe von Eduard Meier.

www.edmeier.de

Bei den Italiener finde ich Santoni gut, besonders die handgenähten Schuhe. Aber da gibt es noch ein paar andere, die man sich angucken sollte, z. B. Bonora. Wien: Ludwig Reiter ist leider nicht mehr so gut, wie er früher mal war, Materna ist nicht schlecht und bei den Maßschuhen Scheer & Söhne. Auch Herr Rollig macht sehr schöne Maßschuhe, er macht viele Trunkshows in Deutschland. Ein guter deutscher Maßschuhmacher ist Benjamin Klemann. Er hat eine Werkstatt in Basthorst bei Hamburg.


Here is my translation:

At the end of the nineties, when I was putting my book together, Church's was very good. Church's always had good workmanship, even if the finish of the leather was never as aesthetically pleasing as an Edward Green. The foundations were always very sound. I agree with you that today Crockett and Jones is better, although Tricker's also offers good quality. Edward Green is on a class of it own. I know Hilary Freeman quite well. I have only just become acquainted with her on a Sunday lunch with Robin Guiness (Export Sales Director of Crockett and Jones). Grensons has in the last few years improved quite a bit. The ready to wear Vass shoes are OK but their bespoke shoes cannot be compared with the famous London, Parisian and Viennese bespoke shoemakers. For the last couple of years I myself have come to prefer shoes by Eduard Meier:

www.edmeier.de

Amongst the Italians I find Santoni good, especially the handmade shoes. However there are a couple of others which one should take a look at eg Bonora. Vienna: Ludwig Reiter is sadly that not as good as it used to be, Materna is not bad and amongst the bespoke shoemakers Scheer & Söhne. Also Herr Rollig makes really beautiful bespoke shoes. He does trunk shows in Germany. One good German bespoke shoemaker is Benjamin Klemann. He has a workshop in Hamburg.
 

ccffm1

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Very interesting, Sator. Thanks for sharing. I´ve always appreciated Mr. Roetzel´s book for the pics, but most of the chapters would need a thorough revision.
 

Sator

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I should add that I suggested to Herr Roetzel that since the initial publication of his book, Church's had declined in quality ever since Prada took over and that these days C&J represents better value. He essentially seems to agree with me.
 

Tibo

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Interesting insight, thanks for sharing. I like Roetzel's book very much despite its imperfection, and I would rank the chapter about shoes as the first needing revision (in addition to the quite ridicule part about saddle shoes and the other one about 'home clothing'). It's good to have his insight and to feel conforted in my progressive transition from Church's to EG.
 

AlanC

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Originally Posted by Tibo
Interesting insight, thanks for sharing. I like Roetzel's book very much despite its imperfection, and I would rank the chapter about shoes as the first needing revision (in addition to the quite ridicule part about saddle shoes and the other one about 'home clothing'). It's good to have his insight and to feel conforted in my progressive transition from Church's to EG.


What's wrong with saddle shoes?
 

Artisan Fan

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The Vass book on handmade shoes is particularly good.
 

Get Smart

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Originally Posted by diorshoe
i myself agree with him that santoni handmades are very good.
even their mid classic line in the US.


you need J to change your handle to "Santonishoe"
 

muelleran

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You did mention the forum to Roetzel? Perhaps he would like to contribute?
 

Fabro

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I bought his book around 2001, and it really kicked off this interest in good clothing. Is he doing any other writing, or even updating Gentlemen?
 

acidboy

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i'm also happy herr roetzel, whose book i totally enjoy, confirms my humble opinion that c&j's, santoni and trickers are good.

sator, could you possibly ask the gentleman if he's planning to update his book, or author a new one soon?
 

rssmsvc

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I love his book , very practical and great pictures. The shaving section saved my poor cutup cheeks.
 

muelleran

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Originally Posted by ksm
I bought his book around 2001, and it really kicked off this interest in good clothing. Is he doing any other writing, or even updating Gentlemen?

I recently bought a book by Roetzel called (Der Style Guide), the English translation shouldn't be hard
. 2nd edition, first was 2002.
But it's a book for absolute beginners, meant to be a quick reference guide. Much less mentioning of brands.
 

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