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Bespoke shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by matadorpoeta, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. marc39

    marc39 Well-Known Member

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    Tony Gaziano, who runs Edward Green's bespoke division, should be visiting the US shortly--I'll be doing a fitting with him for my first pair of EG bespoke shoes.
     
  2. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    I also received word from Cleverley that they will be here in the spring as well - looks like I've gotta make a decision (chosing both might result in personal financial ruin). Oh, and then there's Perry Ercolino ...

    Anyone with a recommendation on which of the three to chose for my first bespoke shoe purchase?
     
  3. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    sage
    Originally posted by Matadorpoeta:
    Sometime in August or September I am heading to Rome again and will bring my Cleverley side elastic shoe. I will see if Lattanzi can make a similar shoe with a few modifications. The main reason I am trying this is because of all my bespokes, the most immediately comfortable shoe was by Silvano Lattanzi (not that any of the others were painful mind you). I want to do a bit of modifiation on the Cleverley design and see if he can do it.
     
  4. naturlaut

    naturlaut Senior member

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    Cleverley was in NY back in September or so. He is coming back in February, early March. Be sure to make appointment, otherwise you may not be allocated with enough time to even look through the leathers. He will also bring some ready-made.
     
  5. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    Originally posted by Marc39:
    Is this your second EG bespokes? I remember you mentioning back in the Shoe Horse topic that you had a pair of bespokes on order? Clarify please.

    I am interested in the result of your shoes, since I like the looks of his examples on the EG webpage, the shoes are nice and elongated, more along the lines of Cleverley.
     
  6. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    Anyone with any domestic bespoke shoe experiences to share? I've heard nothing but positives on Perry Ercolino. Vincent & Edgar receive some mixed reviews (no quality or styling concerns just seem to be more service/personality related).

    I assume that there must be other top-quality shoemakers domestically worthy of mention but they seem to keep themselves well hidden - anyone have any to recommend/discuss?
     
  7. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    Or Oliver Moore - I've found brief mentions of this shop and Vogel but nobody seems to have any first-hand experience with either.

    Curious what do the shoe experts think of the construction of the Vogel shoes (if anyone has seen any first-hand)? They seem almost "too inexpensive" for true custom, at least as compared to Ercolino, Vincent & Edgar, EGreen, etc..
     
  8. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior member

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    I'm interested in learning more about Vogel too. I'm curious if the the prices from 1999 listed on their website are still valid (app. $850 for the first pair if I remember correctly - $650 for subsequent pairs). Their website seems to be down at this instant so I can't confirm.

    At these prices I'm tempted to give them a shot without any recommendations. Maybe a pair of boots rather than dress shoes, since that's more their speciality.

     
  9. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member

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    I've been very curious about Oliver Moore, too. Those antique tan scotch grain wingtips from Oliver Moore in the Vass book are truly stunning.

    Aside from the blurb in the Vass book and the Vogel website, the only material that I've ever seen about Vogel was in an article in GQ a few years ago. They sent a number of writers to get different peices of custom-made clothes, and the guy responsible for shoes went to Vogel. The article was very complimentary, but the shoes didn't do much for me. Of course, that could be the fault of the author as much as Vogel.

    For the price, I'd be willing to bet that Vogel shoes are machine-made on modified stock lasts. They still might be great shoes, I don't know; but I'd be floored if they were in the same category as the handmade bespoke cordwainers. I haven't actually ever seen a pair, so this is all just speculation.
     
  10. rayk

    rayk Senior member

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    Has anyone acquired any additional information about, or better yet, actually ordered a pair of shoes from Vogel?  The prices (approx. $850, 1st order; $650, subsequent orders)  seem just too attractive for full bespoke. On the other hand, I'd hate to find that my cynicism kept me from discovering a great shoe at a great price.
     
  11. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    Rayk - Vogel has been asked about frequently but nobody seems to have any firsthand experience with them - if you stop in their shop I'd love to hear your thoughts as it does seem to be a great deal. I continue to consider them but haven't made it down to their shop.
     
  12. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior member

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    I've actually visited Vogel a couple of times these past weeks. I was waiting to make up my mind about them before posting anything, but I figure I'd give you what I have so far and ask for some input before proceeding. (1) Their store is divided into two areas on the ground floor. A somewhat cramped waiting room facing the street with a couple of seats, a cat, and a display of their shoes and boots, both equestrian and casual. They seem to have more models available than is shown on their web site. From here you can see the main work area where 2 or 3 people are, no doubt, in the process of making shoes. I intend to request a tour at my next visit. (2) As many hours as I have spent on this forum, and doing my own research, my ability to judge the quality of a shoe is still in its infancy. At this stage all I can say is that Vogel shoes remind me of Allen-Edmonds and Alden when it comes to the finish. This is not meant as a criticism since I happen to like both AE and Alden very much. Knowing that Vogels will be hand lasted and entirely hand made except for the stitching, puts them a step above. (3) When ordering boots, measurements are taken by a salesperson, and no custom last is created. The argument for this is that boots are much easier to fit and don't require the precise measurements a shoe might. This seems to make sense to me, but I'm curious to know what others think. (4) When ordering shoes, the last maker will be taking his own measurements. My understanding is that last is built from scratch, though I'm not certain that I can verify this. Customer lasts are stored in excess of 10 years. (5) The first pair of custom shoes takes 12 weeks for delivery. There are no fittings in between measuring and delivery. If there are fitting issues, they assure me that they will take care of it. (6) They are willing to make custom designs provided you bring samples or pictures. If I place an order with them, I believe I would keep the first pair fairly simple. I'm considering the Manchester, in fine pebble-grained black calfskin and a double leather sole. I may add a heel cap to give it a more rugged look in the back. This would not add to the cost. A more complex welt, however, would add $100-$150 to the price. (7) When requesting to see a swatch of pebble-grained leather I was offered something made by the Pebody Leather Co from the UK. I have no idea if this leather is of good quality and appreciate any opinions from readers regarding this company. They will also work with Shell Cordovan and exotics like snakeskin and alligator. I honestly can't find anything that raises red flags and says "do not order from these guys." Considering that the next option may be a good $2,000 more expensive, it's hard not to be tempted. The bang-for-the-buck factor seems extremely high in my opinion, and the fact that they are located only a few minutes from where I work means I can always stop by and voice complaints (or express my appreciation) in person. I plan on stopping by again this week, and if anyone has specific questions they would like to have answered, or think that I should ask for myself before coming to a decision, please let me know.
     
  13. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member

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    This is actually the opposite of what I would have thought. Most shoes have laces, which can correct minor fitting problems; but boots (at least most boots) do not, so the fit has to be more perfect. Of course, Vogel mostly produces equestrian boots, and I suppose that fit is less of a consideration if you're going to be on the back of a horse than if you're on your feet.
     
  14. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    Please remember to post us with your final decisions.

    If any of the shoe experts have some specific questions that would help to clarify the "true bespoke nature" of the Vogel shoes please post them so TimelessRider can ask I think several of us would greatly appreciate.

    Thanks.
     
  15. cityslicker

    cityslicker Member

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    Vogel's heritage is in custom equestrian boots, not "civilian" shoes. I considered Vogel, but decided against them. While their prices for shoes are reasonable, they're "suspiciously" reasonable for truly custom shoes. Spend the extra money and try Perry Ercolino, who makes true custom shoes.
     
  16. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior member

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    Too late. I already placed an order this week.

    The measuring process was very simple consisting of outline of my feet while seated, 3 or 4 circumference measurements, and a few raised eyebrows at my apparently grossly mis-shapen right foot. Nothing like the process described on another forum. I certainly am not expecting an exquisite pair of shoes, simply a high-quality, durable pair of shoes that have excellent fit and are suitable for regular wear.

    Regarding Perry Ercolino and other high-end bespoke shoemakers that cost $2,500 to $4,500 a pair, I know that if I had gone straight to any one of them without trying Vogel, I would have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind whether my money was well-spent or not. My only regret is that I have no plans to stop by in Budapest and meet with Mr. Vass.

    Anyway, I'll post my comments and pics in app. 3 months.
     
  17. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member

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    Good for you. I'll be very interested to see how they turn out.

    It's clear that Vogel isn't really in the same league as some of the high-end bespoke makers, but that doesn't mean that they don't turn out a quality product at a reasonable price. Alden shoes aren't in the same league as Edward Green, but that doesn't mean that you should avoid Alden shoes like the plague. I'm glad that you're acting as a guinea pig for Vogel so that I can find out just what kind of value they offer.
     
  18. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior member

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    Glad to be of service.
     
  19. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    Timeless - any update on your Vogel shoe order? How did they turn out?

    Thanks.
     
  20. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior member

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    Last I heard, they're a behind schedule and they're still a couple of weeks from being ready. I'll keep you posted.
     

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