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Has Prada really damaged Church's quality?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by emakris, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. emakris

    emakris Senior member

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    I have been searching through SF for information on Church's and I found myself, rather surprised, reading some quite bad opinions about Church's quality following Prada's acquisition of the brand. I am surprised as I fail to see how has the quality been affected, especially following a recent visit to the Church's Bond St. boutique and having had a look at the more recent shoes. To me, quality seems the same and my personal experience has been nothing but very good indeed. This is a picture of 3 year old (post Prada) pair of seriously worn Consul. These shoes have been worn at least 3 days a week for 3 years in a row (will post closer pics at first opportunity but what you see here is pretty much what the shoes look like). They have never been to the shop for repairs and have been soaked wet once (inside and out) in a typical British rainy day. [​IMG] Having said that, I admit some money-saving strategy has been put in place at Church's. Namely, the brushes are not as good as they used to be and the shoe trees do not have the brass logo and handle; the logo is now pressed onto the wood and the handle is just a recess also on the wood. All this despite the prices of these products having remained the same. P.S. I'm not comparing Church's to Edward Green et al but to the "old", pre-Prada Church's.
     


  2. tonylumpkin

    tonylumpkin Senior member

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    I think the complaint is less that the quality has declined, than that the price has escalated to the point where the relative value has decreased.
     


  3. mimile

    mimile Senior member

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    Hi Emakris,
    You seem to be asking a question and giving the answer at the same time!
     


  4. entrero

    entrero Senior member

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    I've seen the new Church lineup that retails for 400+ euro's and are only 1/4 leather lined. As stated above, the relative value has diminished
     


  5. emakris

    emakris Senior member

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    Hi Emakris,
    You seem to be asking a question and giving the answer at the same time!

    [​IMG]

    Apologies for the confusion, the question was rhetorical; I was aiming at a discussion rather than an answer...

    I think tonylumpkin might be onto something but on a second thought I don't really think all other, supposedly and actually, better brands have left their prices unchanged for the last 3 or 5 or more years or having increased their quality in parallel to their pricing.
     


  6. I. Gentantithesis

    I. Gentantithesis Senior member

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    Are the toes of those Consuls linen or leather lined? Pre-Prada Church's marketed some of the same styles (Chetwyn, Counsul, etc. ?) in the U.S. fully leather lined and in the U.K. partially leather lined. This factor seems to have oft discombobulated Church chat amongst the cognoscenti, apples & pomegranates.
     


  7. emakris

    emakris Senior member

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    Are the toes of those Consuls linen or leather lined?
    Leather. I must admit, I did not check the shoes at the shop to that extend. One more visit is in order, I think...
     


  8. entrero

    entrero Senior member

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    Oh another sign of post-Prada syndrome: made in Italy...
     


  9. emakris

    emakris Senior member

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    Yup, there were some sporty type shoes that had "Made in Italy" on them but all the rest of them were made in England, or so they said.
     


  10. Avebury

    Avebury Senior member

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    Play safe: buy Edward Green or Lobb! It's worth paying a more bit considering the cost of re-soling, and the time you will devote to them - regular wear and use, cleaning and polishing, etc. The chances are that any doubt or quibble will magnify: a bit like a blister forming on a foot.
     


  11. yfyf

    yfyf Affiliate vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    OP's post's shoes look pretty good, especially considering the wear and tear. I recently went into Church's and while I liked some of the lasts, the quality of the shoes for the price was a bit surprising, especially for their top-of-range models. I wonder if it's not so much their price increasing but rather their competitors getting better at what they do for the same money (e.g. C&J, AS, Grenson, etc)
     


  12. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    The price has gone up dramatically. Looking at my grandfathers Church's they are a completely different shoe to what is now on offer, and relatively, the shoe you buy today costs an awful lot more. We must remember that when Prada took over Church's, the company was in a large amount of debt. Therefore, in order to make it profitable once more, steps were taken to raise prices and, in some areas, to lower quality.

    Aside from that, your shoe trees appear too big for your shoes.
     


  13. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    I have pre- and post-prada Church's, and I don't see any significant differences.

    It seems to me that Prada is doing very well selling Church's at extortionate prices in Italy, as somehow this brand is considered 'the' good English shoe by most people.
     


  14. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    Are the toes of those Consuls linen or leather lined? Pre-Prada Church's marketed some of the same styles (Chetwyn, Counsul, etc. ?) in the U.S. fully leather lined and in the U.K. partially leather lined. This factor seems to have oft discombobulated Church chat amongst the cognoscenti, apples & pomegranates.

    I think there's nothing wrong with linen-lined toes in a summer shoe. My tan/chestnut Consuls are linen-lined (bought in Italy a few years ago), other models I have (brogues, plaintoe derbies, not sure about the names, some dating back 7-8 years, some younger) are fully leather lined.
     


  15. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    I find Church's shoes boxy and over-priced....The quality is also not there anymore and the cross-cutting exercise could be partly to blame for that...
    They used to sell great old fashioned British classic shoes and that was the charm of the brand..
    Nowadays, the prices have gone up quite a lot and the quality is not great...
    I prefer JM WESTON for roughly the same kind of prices..Their leathers are better...
     


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