Grenson masterpieces $250

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Lomezz, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    Went to another Bennie's, a suburban branch. They have the Grensons at all three of their stores. Apparently, Bennie's bought 540 pairs of Grensons. They sent back 110 pairs, because they were sizes 5-6.  From looking through the boxes in the back, I would guess that 90% of what they still have left is Masterpieces. The sizing is American; not UK. Of all I tried on, the sizing seems to run very true, like that of Alden and AE, except that the Stowe, apparently on a very different last, was narrower.
    Their pricing is a bit weird for the Masterpieces ($150, $175 or $250), but so is the pricing of P**l S****t, which charges $625 for the "finest calfskin" models and $575.00 for the "French alpine calfskin" shoes. Actually, I can barely tell them apart, if at all. Although Bennie's also sells the regular grade (avoid them; they are only average) Grensons for $150.00, I would say that it is also selling 90% of the Masterpieces for the same $150. I looked long and hard at the rather plain Masterpiece cap toe that Bennie's is selling for $250 and which P**l S****t has for $625 and can't really tell any significant difference between it and the Masterpieces that both stores are selling for less. I caressed both the $250 and $150 models simultaneously, and although I might be fanaticizing that I could feel some difference, I would say that maybe on a 1-10 scale, the leather quality is a 9.8 for the $250 shoe and a 9.6 for the $150 one. That makes the $150 one an unbelievable bargain; it is only going for 1/4 of its true value. The bargain is nearly equal to Bennie's selling the discontinued $1,000 (really worth $1,200-$1,300 at today's prices) J& M hand-mades for $250, a few weeks back.
    Bennie's seems to have over a dozen styles (more than P**l S****t has); about 1/2 oxfords and 1/2 loafers. I even saw some tan/white spectators, both in an oxford and a tassel loafer. If anyone can wear a 10.5D, they have a spectacular double sole shell cordovan penny loafer, the same shoe I saw selling at the Grenson store in Brussels last Christmas for 750 Euros; Bennie's wants $200 for it.
    Other than that, I particularly recommend the cognac models and other lighter shades of brown if you are into antiqued shoes; the work was absolutely superb. There was nothing wrong with the burgundy or black ones, either, however.
     
  2. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    Hurgh. I don't need a pair of wingtips or tassel loafers, the only things he has in my size. And with AJL's "old" pair of C&J Seymours on the way, I think my wallet is better off for it.
     
  3. djkovner

    djkovner Well-Known Member

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    Jerrysfriend: So, just to be clear, which models are priced at $150, $175, and $250.
     
  4. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Which ones are they, the older (and really stunning) cognac and light tan leather model, or the new leather/linen model (equally stunning)?

    I really wish they had a few more styles in my size. I would have loved a pair of spectators, but they only had a plain oxford and a couple of loafers.

    Any of the new six-eyelet shoes with the long, slim, chisel-toe last??
     
  5. Lomezz

    Lomezz Senior member

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    jerrysfriend, Is it possible that the shoes in the $150-175 range you're referring too come not from the masterpieces series, but rather from the footmasters series? In the UK, there's a price difference of about GBP100. You mentioned buying the Stowe and then a model similar to the Rugby (which I bought for $250), but with more borgueing. Well, I'm looking at the 2004 Grenson catalog, and there is no masterpieces model with more brogueing than the Rugby. However, the footmasters series has the Canterbury, which answers to that description. Would you care to post the model name for the shoe you bought? Also, on the phone, Chris was pretty positive that the only oxford model he had from the masterpieces series was the Rugby. Were all the shoes you saw from Pual Stuart? because if so, then it's more likely than not they're all masterpieces-equivalent. But then again, how do you account for the huge price difference at Bennie's ($150-250)? Now I'm really confused. So many questions... I know I'm not gonna sleep tonight...
     
  6. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    I have now been to all three Bennie's and they are starting to run together in my mind. As best I can remember, the two models which P***l S****t sells for $625 were $250 at Bennie's, the $595 at P***l S****t ones were $150. The shoes did not have the model names inside; only numbers. The one with the more brogueing said "Rugby," on the box, but looked like the Canterbury. However, I am sure that it was a Masterpiece, not a Footmaster, due to the fine leather interior and cut-out with the size and model number, identical to the way Edward Green does it. The lesser models had a much cheaper interior. Bennie's has a huge selection; some with dianite soles, some patent leather oxford formal shoes and the weirdest thing I ever saw; a shoe that looked like a ballerina slipper for Scottish dancers. Â They even had a spectator type of shoe, but in the area for the contrasting color, mesh leather instead of smooth leather. Â I only saw 1-2 with the P***l S****t logo on the bottom, but most had "P" written in red crayon on the interior; I think I know what that means.
     
  7. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    Unfortunately when I called they only have one lace-up model in my size and they are rubber-soled shoes in moc toe style. I'm pretty sure they are not from the Masterpieces line but what line exactly they are from? I was told that the model no. is 8049. If they're from the Feathermaster line then $150 would be close to their retail prices.

    P.S. Did they have any Masterpieces in size 11?
     
  8. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    Correction. The shoes are at home and the computer is at the office, so it is easy to make a mistake. On looking again, it was the "Stowe" that came in the box marked "Rugby." Obviously, the shoe got in the wrong box or it was labeled wrong. The shoe with the more brogueing than the "Rugby" (and which looked more looked a lot like the Canterbury, but which was from the Masterpiece line) came in a box that had "Cognac calf semi-brogue" written on it. The "P' is in ink, not crayon. The boxes are just generic white and do not say "Grenson," "Masterpiece," have model numbers, or have much of anything else marked; just the size, color (sometimes wrong) and a vague description, like "Burgundy calf loafer." I did not look in 400 boxes; only about 25-30; all in size 10 or 10.5. Louie told me that Grenson had replaced the original heel pads on the shoes that had said "S****t's Choice," with ones that said "Grenson." I have no idea why P***l S****t's spread is $575-$625 and Bennie's is $150-$250 (seems as if the higher Bennie's number may be a bit too high). Â I cannot remember which shoe was $175; it may have been the dianite sole model. I have closely examined the contents of 6 boxes and have drawn some conclusions. Here is what I looked at: 1. Box said "Cognac calf oxford," was marked model number 8002/17 inside the shoe, had "P" in ink written near the marked size, and was a plainish cap toe. This is a $625 P***l S****t model and is $250 at Bennie's. 2. Box said Cognac calf semi-brogue," was marked model number 8004/17 inside the shoe, had "P" in ink written near the marked size, and was a cap toe full brogue. This is a $595 P***l S****t model and is $150 at Bennie's. 3. Box said "Cognac calf Rugby" [wrong box]," was model number 8003/17, had "P" in ink written near the marked size, and was the Grenson "Stowe." This is a $595 P***l S****t model and is $150 at Bennie's. 4. Box said "Cognac calf loafer," was marked model number 8009/17 inside the shoe, had "P" in ink written near the marked size, and was a dark tan penny loafer. This is a $595 P***l S****t model and is $150 at Bennie's. 5. Box said "Burgundy calf loafer," was marked model number 8009/15 inside the shoe, had "P" in ink written near the marked size, and was a burgundy penny loafer. This is a $595 P***l S****t model and is $150 at Bennie's. 6. Box said "Cognac calf loafer [color wrong]," was marked model number 8056/17 inside the shoe, had "P" in ink written near the marked size, and was what I found in an old P***l S****t catalogue as being an "antiqued tan penny loafer with short saddle and Italian style toe cap." This is a $595 P***l S****t model and is $150 at Bennie's. My conclusions: (a) If it has "P" in ink written near the marked size, it was made for P***l S****t. (b) If the number inside the shoe is in the 8000's, I am fairly sure that it is from the "Masterpiece" line. I would need to go look again, but I'll bet that the handful of "Footmasters" and "Feathermasters" that Bennie's has (apparently all at the Piedmont store, where Louie is), have different model numbers, something like in the 3000s or 4000s, etc. Â[​IMG] If the model number also says /17, it is either a dark tan or antiqued lighter tan color. (d) If the model number also says /15, it is a burgundy color. I do not know the coding for black. Bennie's has changed its initial post to try to show what sizes are available in the various models. However, it has used pictures of similar looking Allen Edmonds or Alden models, instead of Grensons, and is also using the AE color description of "Chili," instead of "Cognac." These models are not as refined or distinctive looking to my eye as the Grensons, so if you buy a pair they will be more elegant looking than Bennie's pictures. Better to look at the pictures on the P***l S****t site. See http://www.paulstuart.com/categor....item=1. Additionally, Allen Edmonds has no models comparable to the "Stowe," to what P***l S****t calls, in some old catalogues, an "antiqued tan penny loafer with short saddle and Italian style toe cap" or an "antiqued tan oxford with Italian style toe cap," or to the weird model that I call the Scottish antique dancing shoe (just the shoe to wear with your kilt at a Scottish wedding or at the Highland games), etc. Therefore, Bennie's has not yet posted pictures to even nearly represent all that they have.
     
  9. Lomezz

    Lomezz Senior member

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    jerrysfriend - thanks for the update.

    I was somewhat taken aback by the (lack of) pricing consistency, so I called the shop today and, while Chris is on vacation, I was told to call him again next week and that I may expect a refund on my $250 Rugby, to bring it in line with what others seemd to have paid, i.e., $150 or so. needless to say, I will shop again at Bennie's should something so interesting come up again.

    I felt so good about my bargaining acumen that I felt the occassion called for another shoe pruchase, but sadly all they had left in 9 were a penny loafer and something described as a one-eyelet lace-up(?). Well, maybe next time.
     
  10. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    Unless they have sold a couple of hundred pairs in the last two days, I would guess that they have more than one size 9 shoe left. Call Louie at the Piedmont Road (in-town) store if you want more. Since the shoes are spread over three stores, it could be that you are only being told what is left at the Cobb County store, where Chris works. Actually, as of last Saturday, only the Piedmont Road store had any on display. The two suburban locations had them all in the back. A walk-in customer in those stores would have no idea that Bennie's even sold Grenson.
    I think that Bennie's has several owners. They had different ideas about what to do with the Grensons. Some wanted to price them all much higher than $150. Some wanted to price the $625 shoes higher than the $575 models. Louie told me that he wanted to sell them all for $150; he was especially happy selling to forum members, as he said he liked talking to them because they really knew their stuff. What a deal at $150, even at $250.
    Because the shoes were spread over stores, the three store managers adopted inconsistent pricing philosophies when they first went on sale. Then, they tried to be more uniform. They are really nice people.
     
  11. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    See http://benniesshoes.com/grenson.htm As I read the list, in size 11D, Bennie's has tassel loafers in black and burgundy; penny loafers in tan and black; and a burgundy cap toe oxford. All are from the Masterpiece line.
     
  12. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    See http://benniesshoes.com/grenson.htm As I read the list, in size 9D, Bennie's has tassel loafers in black and cognac (chili); penny loafers in cognac, burgundy and black; a black plain cap toe oxford and a cognac decorated cap toe oxford.
     
  13. keys

    keys Senior member

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    Received my shoes from Bennies and am quite satisfied.

    Picked up a pair of stitched cap toe oxfords in Cognac; very handsome. The shoes are clearly marked "Grenson" and have the model # 8001.17 written in black as well as a red  "P" written next to the model #. I'm fairly certain that this pair is from the Masterpiece line.

    Also picked up a really nice pair of black "Stowe-like" shoes that are marked with the brand name "Shipton" and carry the model designation "Bedford". Perhaps Grenson also makes shoes for Shipton?

    Both pair appear to be of excellent quality and the customer service was top notch. Bennies is highly recommended.

    V-
     
  14. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    I did not see the Shipton & Heneage Bedford (349 Euros; which is about $422) at Bennie's, but while they are whole-cuts, they look a lot more like the C&J Weymouth to me than the Stowe, which I bought. See http://www.shiptonandheneage.fr/erol.ht....3DUTF-8 Compare: http://www.crockettandjones.co.uk/Ne.../weymouth.html
     
  15. keys

    keys Senior member

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    Yes you are correct; that is the shoe.

    Any idea if Grenson or C&J make these for Shipton?

    Does Shipton make any of their own shoes?

    V-
     

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