Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Pierre, Jun 21, 2004.
Just out of curiosity, and given that I go to Budapest once a year ...
Here in DC, Sky Valet charges $650 for most Vass leather shoe models (not boots; not exotic skins). I think I recall someone saying here or perhaps on AskAndy that he called the factory in Budapest and was told it was something like $430 or so over there.
I paid 130,000 Florints (approx. $585 at the time) for a shoe on the U last; this price was for a cash purchase, and included shoe trees. This price was only a 10,000 Florint premium to their other shoes, much less than I had been expecting given the premium for the U last in the USA. As I recall this price also included shipping to the US.
If you do order, you may want to specify the 3-piece shoe tree; I was given a nice 2 piece, spring-loaded shoe tree, rather than the 3 piece that some have received and which I would have preferred.
Is Vass' website still up and running? I keep getting error messages when I try to access it. Maybe I have an outdated address. Is there a new one? Thanks.
I was just quoted $595 for custom shoes in calf skin.
Huh?? Didn't someone just post about buying a pair of Vass at Louis Boston for $1200?
Prices range from appx. $430 - $660 depending on which model, whether or not you choose shell cordovan, and whether you choose custom or RTW. But make sure you factor in the cost of a trip to Budapest..
So yes, the shoes are much more expensive here in the US. In Budapest you are buying directly from the maker, therefore you do not have to factor in the considerable amount of work that Gabor and I perform to sell the shoes here in the US, and the markup in the stores. This is the same for most goods - you can get your Kiton and Brioni suits for a lot less if you fly to Italy, but then again, you have to pay for a trip to Italy.
Also, compared to other brands at the same price point ($700-$1200,) Vass actually represents a value on the US market. That may sound ridiculous to some, but there is FAR more labor that goes into a Vass shoe than say, an Edward Green or John Lobb shoe, which sell for the same amount. Besides Silvano Lattanzi, no other shoe on the US market is as handmade. Handwork may not matter to you, but it takes a lot more effort, time and skill, and therefore is going to cost more.
nice Andrew, very well put.
And the cost of importation, including the customs duties, which are not always charged on individual pairs of shoes. What are the duties on shoes imported from Hungary, BTW? I found the US tariff schedule once, and I had a lot of difficulty making head or tail of it. I think that most shoes would have been taxed at either 5% or 25% ad valorem, depending on country of origin, but I'm not sure which countries were in which category.
It was me - for shell cordovan, though. I won't be in Budapest anytime soon and I wanted them now. In my opinion, a fair price. If I'm padding A Harris' wallet... all the better Â
Well, we all know that Andrew is a millionaire... How else could he dress so dapperly?
$660 U.S for Vass be-spoke. Wow.
The old question remains: is Vass and Lattanzi be-spoke better made (more durable) than Lobb or Edward Green be-spoke???
I think the durability of a bespoke shoe is as much a function of the specifics of the shoe -- type of sole (single vs. double), welt, and leather (type and weight) -- as the maker. I believe that all the bespoke makers are doing virtually everything by hand, except for the sewing of the upper. The variety of sole leather may vary, as the English (excepting E Green) use Bakers English sole leather, whereas the others likely use either Rendenbach or Italian leather. This may marginally affect now long a sole lasts before a shoe needs to be resoled. However, any of these makers' shoes should last for decades if properly maintained. Which maker you choose should be more a matter of which stlye you prefer, as each maker has a distinct "house style," though Vass clearly is broadening its options with its U last and a couple of others.
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