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Bevelled soles on jl and c&j handgrade?

scm996

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I recently purchased 3 pairs of C&J handgrades on 337 last (Weymouth, Seymour and Bradley) and a pair of JL Matta with the bevelled "bootmaster's" sole/waist on 8695 last, in London. The fit and comfort on both makes are great and almost identical. My question is two fold:

1) Although C&J does not explicitly claim to have a "bevelled" waist, the waist on both shoes are identical in both the curvature and the width. Do C&J handgrades have bevelled waists or am I missing something ?

2) Having paid twice as much for the JL Matta, is it really worth it ? Does anyone have a reason for JLs high price other than supposedly the "prestige" associated with having it and being owned by Hermes ?

I have confirmed the following JLs come with "bootmaster's"waist:
a) Philip II
b) Jermyn II
c) Matta and Matta II
d) Warwick

Does the factory store in Northampton ever carry stock of these shoes ?

All of them except Matta are made on the 7000 last. Does anyone know of other JL current models that comes with the "bootmaster's" waist ? Any other RTW shoes that come with bevelled soles ?
 

Alias

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Answer to number 1: They're beveled, just not as sharply as some other shoe makers bevel them.
 

jcusey

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1) Although C&J does not explicitly claim to have a "bevelled" waist, the waist on both shoes are identical in both the curvature and the width. Do C&J handgrades have bevelled waists or am I missing something ?
It's the same idea, but it's not the same thing. C&J soles are rounded over and close-cut at the waist; but they're not nearly as close-cut or as curved as JL bootmaker soles. The only RTW shoes that I've ever seen that can match the JL bootmaker waist are the bevelled-waist shoes made by Vass. I think that most shoemakers will call the rounded-over sole at the waist a bevelled sole, and you can get that from any number of makers. However, for just about all makers, it's not the same as what JL does with their bootmaker soles.
2) Having paid twice as much for the JL Matta, is it really worth it ? Does anyone have a reason for JLs high price other than supposedly the "prestige" associated with having it and being owned by Hermes ?
That's up to you. I think that JL Paris shoes are superior to C&J Handgrade, and obviously, the bootmaker sole shoes are the best of the JL Paris line. There's no doubt that Hermes extracts a significant brand premium, but the shoes are good. Jermyn II is the one of the most expensive JL Paris bootmaker-soled shoes, and to be honest, I'd rather have that shoe, even at twice the price, than anything that C&J has in their Handgrade line. Obviously, that judgment would vary depending on model.
Does the factory store in Northampton ever carry stock of these shoes ?
I would imagine so, but I don't know.
All of them except Matta are made on the 7000 last. Does anyone know of other JL current models that comes with the "bootmaster's" waist ? Any other RTW shoes that come with bevelled soles ?
Vintage 2003 does, as do several other models whose names I can't think of at the moment. Ask to see the JL Paris special order binder if you want a complete list.
 

scm996

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Thanks jcusey and Alias. I checked out the Vass USA website. On the page that lists the shoes, there are 7 shoes at the end that do not have any names or description associated with them. Are these available in RTW or are they bespoke only ? The first one of these 7 looks particularly good (picture below) ..very close to a JL bespoke model sample that I saw at the store. How does the Vass RTW sizing compare to JL ?
 

JErwin

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What's the address for the Vass USA site? Thanks.
 

don_andomo

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jcusey, how does JL London compare to C&J Handgrade? Is the "superiority" of JL London to C&J Handgrade about equal to that of JL Paris vs C&J Handgrade? Also, if the soles say "Made in England" does it mean it's JL London? Are JL Paris made in France?
 

shoefan

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All the JL RTW shoes -- aside from a few very casual styles, such as boat shoes -- are made in England, whether they are referred to as JL London or JL Paris.  

There are two separate Lobb BESPOKE operations, the original in St James, London and the second in Paris.  The former is still owned by the Lobb family, whereas the latter is owned by Hermes.  The brand-name for the RTW shoes, though they are made in Northampton, England, is also owned by Hermes, so the Lobb RTW are in some sense an Hermes product.  Hermes bought the rights to the Lobb name from the Lobb family; I've been told Hermes still pays the Lobb Family a licensing fee as part of the purchase, but am not certain whether this is correct.  Obviously, the Lobb family retained the right to make and sell bespoke shoes under the John Lobb name, but I believe Hermes has the rights to all other uses of the name.  The Lobb Paris (i.e. Hermes) operation offers Lobb bespoke shoes at various locations around the world through Hermes stores, which the bespoke shoemakers visit.  Hope this all makes sense.
 

BGW

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All the JL RTW shoes -- aside from a few very casual styles, such as boat shoes -- are made in England, whether they are referred to as JL London or JL Paris.  
Forgive my ignorance, but this seems to imply that John Lobb London makes RTW shoes. Is this correct?
 

jcusey

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Thanks jcusey and Alias. I checked out the Vass USA website. On the page that lists the shoes, there are 7 shoes at the end that do not have any names or description associated with them. Are these available in RTW or are they bespoke only ? The first one of these 7 looks particularly good (picture below) ..very close to a JL bespoke model sample that I saw at the store. How does the Vass RTW sizing compare to JL ?
The shoe that you pictured is named Oxford Medallion, and it's made on the U last. I have that shoe in cognac, and it's very striking. They are indeed available in RTW. Vass shoes have European sizes. Here's a chart comparing US, UK, and European sizes, although you shouldn't treat it as Gospel. For the sake of an example, here are my sizes: US: Usually 10D UK (except JL Paris): 9.5E JL Paris: 9E Vass (most lasts): 43.5 Vass (U last): 44
 

jcusey

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Forgive my ignorance, but this seems to imply that John Lobb London makes RTW shoes. Is this correct?
No. All John Lobb St. James (London) shoes are bespoke. JL Paris shoes can be either RTW or bespoke. Most of the JL Paris RTW shoes are made in a factory in Northampton, England. Some of the casual shoes are made for them by Heschung in Alsace. JL Paris bespoke shoes are made in France.
 

TimelessRider

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As part of the continuing history lesson, anyone know when the Hermes takeover occurred?

Am I correct in assuming that a lot of the classic RTW designs were created prior to Hermes being involved? Examples I'm thinking of are the William, Perrier, Richard, maybe Jermyn II,...?
 

jcusey

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As part of the continuing history lesson, anyone know when the Hermes takeover occurred? Am I correct in assuming that a lot of the classic RTW designs were created prior to Hermes being involved? Examples I'm thinking of are the William, Perrier, Richard, maybe Jermyn II,...?
Flusser (Style and the Man, p. 331) says that the Hermes buyout occurred in 1976, and I think that I've read the same thing elsewhere. I know that William was a bespoke design that predates the buyout. I wouldn't be surprised if there were other models like that, but I don't know.
 

montecristo#4

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Can someone please explain what a bevelled waist actually is?
 

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