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Ken McGregor

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Please, return them to Carmina, and ignore the people who seem to think that these are not flaws, or are not noticeable. Such blind brand loyalty often results in cognitive dissonance.
George is right, these shoes are bad news, and should not be tolerated at their price point. Handmade products may be prone to asymmetry, but not sheer sloppiness.
 

Guccinski L.V.

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This reminded me of recurring sketch on SNL MADtv from the 1990s called: 'Lowered Expectations', look it up it is great.
 

CrashBurner

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These shoes have an abundance of flaws. I would be embarrassed if I purchased these for my wife, who just looked at your pictures and said that she would never wear them. Please, return them to Carmina, and ignore the people who seem to think that these are not flaws, or are not noticeable. Such blind brand loyalty often results in cognitive dissonance.

It is possible to love the brand but hate the shoes, if they're loaded with defects, as these are. You and your wife can still love Carmina - just not these very flawed shoes!
I'm not exactly sure that it all comes down to brand loyalty and cognitive dissonance. Everyone has a different threshold for what they will accept and what they wont and weight different aspects accordingly. I'm less fastidious than others, so some flaws/issues I either don't notice or don't care about. Knowing my perspective, I've never had anything remotely requiring a return from any maker or seller including Carmina.
 

Patrick1053

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I'm not exactly sure that it all comes down to brand loyalty and cognitive dissonance. Everyone has a different threshold for what they will accept and what they wont and weight different aspects accordingly. I'm less fastidious than others, so some flaws/issues I either don't notice or don't care about. Knowing my perspective, I've never had anything remotely requiring a return from any maker or seller including Carmina.
I am not to picky either, but I would hate to see Carmina go down the same path Allen Edmonds is going down. It becomes harder and harder to find a flawless pair.
 

George Mason

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I'm not exactly sure that it all comes down to brand loyalty and cognitive dissonance. Everyone has a different threshold for what they will accept and what they wont and weight different aspects accordingly. I'm less fastidious than others, so some flaws/issues I either don't notice or don't care about. Knowing my perspective, I've never had anything remotely requiring a return from any maker or seller including Carmina.
I did not mean to imply that anyone who disagrees must have cognitive dissonance or be blinded by brand loyalty. It is true that some people do not mind flaws as much as others. However, these shoes have multiple flaws, and for anyone to imply that they don't, i.e., that these actual flaws don't exist or are of a kind so minor as to be insignificant, then one can only conclude that they are suffering from something other than low expectations or merely being less than fastidious.

What's your opinion of the shoes? Would you proudly gift these to your wife or girlfriend?
 

George Mason

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I am not to picky either, but I would hate to see Carmina go down the same path Allen Edmonds is going down. It becomes harder and harder to find a flawless pair.
Agreed, and rather than a standard of "flawless" (which for some indicates "perfection") I would hope that new shoes at this price point would be very well-made without any obvious errors/blemishes/flaws, and certainly nothing egregious.
 

CrashBurner

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I mean the one thing that is definitely noticeable even when worn are all the grey guidelines they drew on the leather presumably to aid in construction. Anybody got any tips on how to get rid of them?
I would’ve suggested Saphir Renomat for those kind of marks but knowing you’re likely to return, I wouldn’t attempt it.
 

CrashBurner

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I did not mean to imply that anyone who disagrees must have cognitive dissonance or be blinded by brand loyalty. It is true that some people do not mind flaws as much as others. However, these shoes have multiple flaws, and for anyone to imply that they don't, i.e., that these actual flaws don't exist or are of a kind so minor as to be insignificant, then one can only conclude that they are suffering from something other than low expectations or merely being less than fastidious.

What's your opinion of the shoes? Would you proudly gift these to your wife or girlfriend?
Well, they are brogues, so there’s that :p
I would suggest, as someone else did earlier, all of the issues combined would be a no-go for me having had experience using Saphir Renomat on some blemished shoes from the Carmina Outlet.
It would probably deal with the construction lines and the edge dressing(?), but could take some of the colour out of the leather (shouldn’t do, but it did in my experience).

I subsequently dyed the boots a dark chocolate as the colour was too light at the outset for my wife (website picture appeared much darker).
 

CrashBurner

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I am not to picky either, but I would hate to see Carmina go down the same path Allen Edmonds is going down. It becomes harder and harder to find a flawless pair.
That would suck. I‘ve got 6 pairs of boots with a 7th pair hopefully on the way soon. So far it’s been 6 for 6 flawless (sic with my previous comments).
 
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007Bond

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Just received a recent MTO order from Carmina (actually my wife's) which seems to have rather glaring quality issues. I have reached out to Carmina but just for my own peace of mind, it's not unreasonable to complain about these, right?

I have seen the many post after this one.

IMO and I am a hard core Carmina fan. I mean to say the only way I even consider another brand is if it is an outrageous deal too good to pass on. Also been on here for many years and have enough Carmina MTO and off the shelf shoes and boots to have seen things for a while. All this said I have noticed recently maybe the past 6 months more and more post with QC issues. So it does seem to be an ongoing trend in the wrong directions.

Now do note all my shoes are purchased to be worn on my feet in all weather, dirty floors, the works. So when I buy even MTO shoes I am not putting them in a museum so there are things that are acceptable and others that are not.

This is not a all inclusive list but an example.

Acceptable:
Something that could have happened in shipping, I have had dents from a heel sitting on the other vamp, smudges, generally anything that just comes off.
Imperfections in the leather as it is a natural product and will have variation.

Not Acceptable: (things what would generally be considered 2nd's)
Stitching errors.
Cuts or scratches.
Clumps of glue or adhesive that should have been cleaned off at the very least.
Anything that visually is noticeable and does not look good and cannot be easily cleaned or fixed with simple products that we all have.
Misalignments or improper cut of the pattern.
Order not correct example you ordered and paid for JR sole but got std or other sole.

Looking at the picks your wifes shoes have many issues that would IMO make them not even seconds but thirds.

Generally seconds have 1 or a few very minor issue where your wifes shoes have sadly many issues.

Oh my wife as a pair of Carmina shoes with that same color leather and it is a bear to keep clean and has several marks/stains like yours. But again I would not expect this on a brand new unworn pair.

The black lines look like marks from the stitching machine that maybe could be cleaned off but certainly should have been cleaned at the factory. The wrinkles are the only thing I would not care about and you noted a few things in this pic but did you miss the visual holes?

carmina 1 (1).jpg
 

Daraven

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I have seen the many post after this one.

IMO and I am a hard core Carmina fan. I mean to say the only way I even consider another brand is if it is an outrageous deal too good to pass on. Also been on here for many years and have enough Carmina MTO and off the shelf shoes and boots to have seen things for a while. All this said I have noticed recently maybe the past 6 months more and more post with QC issues. So it does seem to be an ongoing trend in the wrong directions.

Now do note all my shoes are purchased to be worn on my feet in all weather, dirty floors, the works. So when I buy even MTO shoes I am not putting them in a museum so there are things that are acceptable and others that are not.

This is not a all inclusive list but an example.

Acceptable:
Something that could have happened in shipping, I have had dents from a heel sitting on the other vamp, smudges, generally anything that just comes off.
Imperfections in the leather as it is a natural product and will have variation.

Not Acceptable: (things what would generally be considered 2nd's)
Stitching errors.
Cuts or scratches.
Clumps of glue or adhesive that should have been cleaned off at the very least.
Anything that visually is noticeable and does not look good and cannot be easily cleaned or fixed with simple products that we all have.
Misalignments or improper cut of the pattern.
Order not correct example you ordered and paid for JR sole but got std or other sole.

Looking at the picks your wifes shoes have many issues that would IMO make them not even seconds but thirds.

Generally seconds have 1 or a few very minor issue where your wifes shoes have sadly many issues.

Oh my wife as a pair of Carmina shoes with that same color leather and it is a bear to keep clean and has several marks/stains like yours. But again I would not expect this on a brand new unworn pair.

The black lines look like marks from the stitching machine that maybe could be cleaned off but certainly should have been cleaned at the factory. The wrinkles are the only thing I would not care about and you noted a few things in this pic but did you miss the visual holes?

View attachment 1393401
Thanks for your input, and that of all the other posters too. And no, I did not miss those, just marked a couple and then stopped after a while. There are certainly other marks on the shoes not shown in the pictures.
 

stuffedsuperdud

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These shoes have an abundance of flaws. I would be embarrassed if I purchased these for my wife, who just looked at your pictures and said that she would never wear them. Please, return them to Carmina, and ignore the people who seem to think that these are not flaws, or are not noticeable. Such blind brand loyalty often results in cognitive dissonance.
Well, happy wife happy life to you guys, but it's a bit presumptuous to call anyone who doesn't go over their shoes with the Hubble space telescope a sheep. For me it's just a matter of practicality: if it's a gash or a broken speedhook or a blatant discoloration, then yea that's fair, but I'm not going to waste my time and Carmina's over imperfections that I will accumulate anyway. As a matter of principle, would I expect something more polished at $450? Maybe, maybe not. Is it going to make a difference after the first few wears? No.

I guess the bigger matter is, I generally don't feel the need to put my "nice" things under excessive scrutiny. I think Carminas are worth ~$500 because their designs are nice and the Rain last is comfortable, which is all a shoe needs to be. It doesn't add or subtract value to me how well or not they pass QC when inspected with a magnifying glass. I think this attitude came from a few years ago, when AE and others tried to market their $350 shoes to people used to paying $90 for Johnston and Murphy, and presented their wares as more than what they are. "They're investments!" No, they're feet armor made from byproducts of the meat industry.

You can call this a lowering of expectations, but I think it's more like, realistic expectations that allow you to just enjoy your shoes without letting them become a distraction in your life.

BTW!! My own MTO came today after an envious week of hearing about you guys getting your loot early! True balmoral style oxford (with the long vamp), navy museum calf, Dainite soles. Probably they're full of flaws and I'm a fool for not sending a DM to Sara and then returning them, but (un)fortunately I'm too blind to see all these defects that are obviously there, so I'm just going to wear them tomorrow.
 
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