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J Crew Ludlow Shoes...Alden make?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Subutai, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Subutai

    Subutai Senior member

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    First off, Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans on the thread!

    So, someone initially posted a tidbit on the Alden thread about J Crew's new Ludlow shoes that got me curious. I decided to do a little research and re-post the thoughts here to reach a larger audience (those outside just the Alden thread) and gain some insight.

    It appears as though just yesterday J Crew released a new line of Ludlow shoes to go along with their suits. They currently have only two models, a LWB and a PTB. The GQ description is, "Both combine American and Italian components, and most importantly, they're Goodyear-welted in Massachusetts, so you can get them resoled over and over. For a shoe with that kind of craftsmanship, you'd normally be looking at a price tag around $400-$500."

    The models offered are Alden's two most popular, and the last looks very much like the Barrie last. Further, they're goodyear-welted in MA. Finally, even the colors are similar as the brown is described as "cigar." (This may be very common, but I most closely associate it with Alden's Cigar Shell Cordovan.)

    Anyway, just wanted to get some thoughts. Interesting to note that the Ludlow shoes go for around $300 which puts it at AE prices for a GY welt.

    Some light reading below for those interested:

    http://www.gq.com/style/blogs/the-gq-eye/2013/11/j-crew-ludlow-shoes.html

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/mens-fashion/j-crew-ludlow-shoes-1113
     
  2. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    They look almost... corrected grain. Note that J. Crew doesn't say anything about "calfskin."
     
  3. Subutai

    Subutai Senior member

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    Fair point, they do have a bit of that plastic look to them, but I find online photos to be unreliable. You're right though, it is telling that "calf skin" or "full grain" isn't mentioned anywhere.
    Still, I'd like to see them in person or hear from someone who has. I'm willing to pay the premium for Alden's Shell offerings, but find their prices too high otherwise (of course that hasn't kept me from picking up some CXL models...)
     
  4. NefariousSabatour

    NefariousSabatour Senior member

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    Jesus, I couldn't even get past the first line:

    "J. Crew's Ludlow suit is pretty much the standard for what qualifies as modern men's style today."
     
  5. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    I just scanned those articles for the links. The point of those magazines is airbrushed pictures of women and handy examples of very bad shirt collars.
     
  6. Subutai

    Subutai Senior member

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  7. Patrick R

    Patrick R Senior member

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    "Please note: This item can not be sold in or shipped to California."

    Well that doesn't make me very comfortable with the product. What regulation does this shoe fail to be excluded from sale in CA?
     
  8. motosacto

    motosacto Well-Known Member

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    They are NOT "Goodyear-welted in Massachusetts"! A Goodyear Welt is a component they bought from a Massachusetts supplier. If you read the product description carefully, you'll see that the manufacturer location is "import". J Crew ships materials (e.g. Harris tweed fabric) to China for many of their products. Their online ads usually don't identify the country of origin, which I think is despicable.

    The fact that the GQ article claims they're made in Massachusetts makes their ad copy, er I mean article, just another case of questionable journalism...
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  9. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    That GQ article is written by an idiot.

    That J. Crew shoe is being sold through deceptive advertisement statements, trying to obfuscate its origin of manufacture (likely India or China) and sell to naïve buyers.

    If that shoe is truly made in the US, J. Crew would have plastered that fact all over the place.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  10. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    Logistically, I don't know how one can ship a goodyear welt overseas (a bon-welt could be done, of course).

    Somebody who's a better menswear blagger than I should get a sample pair and a hacksaw, because I'm curious now.
     
  11. Mike147

    Mike147 Senior member

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    Says it's imported... That says it all. If it was made in Italy/England/etc it would denote the country.

    So what you're getting is a $318.00 shoe made that's likely made in China and made to look like the Alden long-wings they sell in another section of their website. $318 for these shoes is very very steep.... I'm willing to bet they cost less than $100 to produce, including delivery to the US.

    I bet they'll sell like hot cakes
     
  12. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    You cant ship python or sell python skin in CA. Maybe they are snakeskin?:)
     
  13. Subutai

    Subutai Senior member

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  14. Organika

    Organika Senior member

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    This upper is not a corrected leather. You will really notice this in person. Has a soft hand and accepts shoe polish as a calf skin should that does not have a coating. You will really notice this on the Brown color-way as my brown pair even darkened a bit when using a dark brown polish. Actually a good bargain once you see the insole and the full grain lining used on these shoes. Nowadays, it seems impossible to find shoes with real leather insoles/GYW construction for under $500. They always focus on the upper/lining, outsole etc, and neglect to mention what was used inside of the shoe.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  15. Hawisher

    Hawisher Member

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    Allen Edmonds, maybe?
     
  16. motosacto

    motosacto Well-Known Member

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    Yep, a standard AE price point these days is $345. Typical construction is leather lining, leather insole, calf upper, and leather sole. I picked up two pair of AE-made Ralph Lauren shoes (Sanderson longwing and a single-monk), for $250 and $200 respectively, from DSW of all places... J Crew seems to be making a habit of sourcing products from India and China, then selling them at US-maker prices. More power to them if they get the buyers, I guess...
     
  17. Organika

    Organika Senior member

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    Agreed. I suppose $500 is a exaggeration as Alden calf is around $450 range. But, I do not see a lack of materials/components or craftsmanship in this Ludlow shoe. Either way I would imagine if it is built well, it will do okay, otherwise it won't sell for long.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  18. cybersemo

    cybersemo New Member

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    If you read the product description carefully, you'll see that the manufacturer location is "import". J Crew ships materials (e.g. Harris tweed fabric to India) for many of their products.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  19. Spex

    Spex Senior member

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    The copy on the J Crew site reads "a lining from Milwaukee, Wisconsin". I suspect maybe an Allen Edmonds made over seas.

    If it was Alden, they would have advertised that like they did with their past Alden made shoes. Why wouldn't they?

    If the were US made AEs they would state "Made in the US" for sure....
     
  20. Michael Haines

    Michael Haines Senior member

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    So has anyone actually got one. I am tempted to try the cigar
     

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