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Gaziano & Girling Appreciation & Shoe Appreciation Thread (including reviews, purchases, pictures)

Mark from Plano

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The official unboxing today of my new G&G MTO Astaire spectators in Vintage Cedar and White calf with blue leather lining (not shown, but very cool). Made up with the round deco toe, toe taps, my initials at the waist and G&G shoe trees.

Ordered these back in April when the factory was closed and they were running their spring promotion with MTO fees waived. They were able to restart production in June and were obviously pretty backed up.

Absolutely love these. Well worth the wait.
 

LThomsen

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View attachment 1474466View attachment 1474469

The official unboxing today of my new G&G MTO Astaire spectators in Vintage Cedar and White calf with blue leather lining (not shown, but very cool). Made up with the round deco toe, toe taps, my initials at the waist and G&G shoe trees.

Ordered these back in April when the factory was closed and they were running their spring promotion with MTO fees waived. They were able to restart production in June and were obviously pretty backed up.

Absolutely love these. Well worth the wait.
How long was the wait?
 

Leaves

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This thing going through middlemen never made much sense, especially for a small shop like G&G.
That is honestly a much too simplified way of looking at it. A huge number of SF approved brands (one of which is discussed in this thread) would be nothing without their early adopting retailers. I have seen the development of this the last 10-12 years both as a consumer and as a retailer, and I know the huge role retailers have played for these small luxury brands. I would not myself be so into shoes if it weren't for Leffot and Leather Soul Hawaii. The content G&G, Alden, Carmina and Edward Green (to mention a few) put out a decade ago was completely meh and would not turn anyone into loving shoes. The hype was all created by retailers and a few bloggers (or what we now call influencers I guess).

Some of these "SF approved" brands have at some point gotten a bit too greedy for their own good and decided to "cut out " their retailers (aka middle men). Many of these brands have now stagnated or dwindled.

If you have ten retailers, you have ten Instagram accounts promoting your brand, you have local evangelists in a certain city/region very far from your own area of operation and you get loads of other brand building activities. And every retailer has 5-10 staff (style ambassadors in many cases) promoting your brand on many social media platforms. The brands would have to have a fully staffed marketing division to push all that content out if they'd do it themselves. Plus it's less engaging if content just goes out through the official social media accounts.

Many of these "cut out middle men" a.k.a. retailers have started up their own brands or switched to selling alternative brands, so it's not like, say Brand X cuts out Retailer Y and they get 100% of those revenues. The retailer won't just take it lying down, will he? No, he will fight finger and nails for his revenues. Brand X will be lucky to retain 15% of those revenues.

So it does make sense to have retailers. Even for small, specialized brands. Unless you are a marketing genius. Then forget all about what I just said.

However, skilled artisans must be gathered and they must be trained by our artisans from England for a good period of time. Foster did that in Northants but could not survive for 3 years where there were skilled artisans in the area. It would be extremely difficult to establish a production point in Asia unless money is no object.
In areas like Northamptonshire, Marche, Almansa and other "shoe regions" there's a lot of management level people and entrepreneurs who know how to make ready-to-wear Goodyear welted shoes. These sprout from the most ambitious artisans (G&G is a good example) or are born into it (like Loake, Jones and other dynasties). I would argue that the know-how of these people and the infrastructure that has developed in these regions is what makes them so competitive and hard to replicate, as it's a structure that has taken decades, if not centuries to develop. Having dozens of last makers, shoe tree manufacturers, shoe box makers, shoe lace suppliers, scores of freelance designers, specialized outworkers within an hours drive is quite handy when you set up a shoe business. Getting an "artisan" to stand at a machine doing a quite monotonous task eight hours a day is not the problem.
 

sforum1

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Some of these "SF approved" brands have at some point gotten a bit too greedy for their own good and decided to "cut out " their retailers (aka middle men). Many of these brands have now stagnated or dwindled.
I totally agree with you. That's precisely what I was using as my starting point. After they've become what they've become with the help of their retailers, from a profit-maximization standpoint and ignoring all other parameters (inclusive of being too greedy without any consideration toward their retailers and the partnership they created over the years), it did not make much sense for them to continue that relationship. A retailer would submit an order for 3 pairs to them for $650/pair and all they were thinking was why are we making only $300/pair profit while we could easily be making $800?
 

tim_horton

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Quick update on the sizing of my Crompton loafers, which I purchased in my "standard" Gaziano & Girling 11E size - I ended up inserting tongue pads for these. I now have a comparable fit to my other 11Es.

View attachment 1468414
I'm going to G&G's New York showroom next Saturday to take advantage of their 20% off sale and to get sized, as I've never worn them before. This loafer is probably what I'll order, just trying to decide between the riojo, oak and espresso hatch grains. I think the browns would be more useful but the riojo looks so interesting.
 

Easily Amused

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I'm going to G&G's New York showroom next Saturday to take advantage of their 20% off sale and to get sized, as I've never worn them before. This loafer is probably what I'll order, just trying to decide between the riojo, oak and espresso hatch grains. I think the browns would be more useful but the riojo looks so interesting.
Here's another teaser to make your decision more difficult ;)

In general, I love dark red colors for shoes. I find the this harmonizes with a greater variety of clothing colors than dark brown shoes. Rioja hatch grain is my favorite G&G leather, so it was a no-brainer for me with the Crompton. Whatever you choose, be sure to let us know, and of course post pictures when they do arrive!

IMG_0192.jpg
 

heelguy

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I'm going to G&G's New York showroom next Saturday to take advantage of their 20% off sale and to get sized, as I've never worn them before. This loafer is probably what I'll order, just trying to decide between the riojo, oak and espresso hatch grains. I think the browns would be more useful but the riojo looks so interesting.
Another fan of Rioja Hatch. Had an Arran MTO in it.
 

jischwar

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Here's another teaser to make your decision more difficult ;)

In general, I love dark red colors for shoes. I find the this harmonizes with a greater variety of clothing colors than dark brown shoes. Rioja hatch grain is my favorite G&G leather, so it was a no-brainer for me with the Crompton. Whatever you choose, be sure to let us know, and of course post pictures when they do arrive!

View attachment 1478393
Another fan of Rioja Hatch. Had an Arran MTO in it.
Is it a Horween leather?
 

Easily Amused

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Is it a Horween leather?
If you mean cordovan, in my case (and shoes), no. But I think I remember seeing G&G offering a cordovan hatch grain.

If you mean the company itself (I think it does calf leather?), no idea on that. I just enjoy the ride :)
 

jischwar

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If you mean cordovan, in my case (and shoes), no. But I think I remember seeing G&G offering a cordovan hatch grain.

If you mean the company itself (I think it does calf leather?), no idea on that. I just enjoy the ride :)
Maybe I assumed, incorrectly, that the Rioja Hatch was an embossed calf. If it's shell cordovan that's even cooler!
 

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