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J&m handmade pics

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Renault78law, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    As promised... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Doh, I can't figure out how to turn the flash of my Dad's camera. The red lint comes from the velvet lined shoe box, sorry I didn't clean them better. Â As you can see, the shape of the sole is unusual...and the size and width of the shoe (11E) doesn't help making them look any narrower. Â Anyway, I think they're great. Thanks to Shoefan for recommending these, and of course Mr.Pollock and the others from the askandy thread.
     
  2. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    i just received mine today too.. they really look great, i think. [​IMG] wait a minnit...velvet lined shoe box?? i didn't get one of those.. what else didn't i get?? /andrew
     
  3. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    You didn't get the velvet lined box? Don't tell me you didn't get the shoe horn, pads, and custom shoe trees too. Ok, just kidding about the trees.
     
  4. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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  5. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. It really is a pity that they no longer make those.
     
  6. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    Renault78law--

    What a pleasure to see these shoes--even when I can visit my own in the closet only twenty-five feet away.  

    We really do owe a profound debt of gratitude to Mr. Pollock and friends.

    I'm wondering whether "shovel sole" is, after all, the correct phrase. . . .  You may have seen Mr. Pollock's initial posting, the one to which he attached a photo of someone else's square-toed oxford.  Is it possible that he was thinking of a different J&M model?

    Well, really, who cares?  The darned thngs are works of art. They feel like clouds.  And they make my water skis look almost like human feet.

    Mike
     
  7. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    Mike,
    I'm pretty sure that he was thinking of this model.  Although I could only see the slightlest resemblance to the Santoni's he linked, the name "shovel" seems quite apt.  

    p.s. Heh, took me a while to catch the skiies joke.  Good one.

    EDIT: For anyone else who bought these shoes, did yours come with the same laces as mine? I was a little surprised, as they are not the standard-type laces found on my other dress shoes.
     
  8. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    Renault78law--

    Thanks for the explanation of "shovel sole."  (And aren't the bevels on those soles sweet?)

    Mine came with identical laces--rather like ribbons. . . .

    Mike
     
  9. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    hmm...yet again my order is different - mine came with a flat waxed lace. not at all like yours, much smaller in width. not ribbon-y at all. they look fine though. i guess if all i'm missing is the velvet, i'll live. seems i had heard elsewhere that some of these shoes were coming in a wooden box. that would have been sweet. i'm just wondering what the inconsistency is about. maybe they were just stocked without laces? maybe the velvet was a random thing? oh well. /andrew PS - mine were a bit tight across the instep, so after verifying with Matt at Bennie's that this wasn't going to hurt them, I had them stretched. haven't had a chance to try them on post-stretching yet, but i'm expecting good things.
     
  10. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If they were a D width instead of an E, I could see where they would have a very Santoni-esque shape. Santoni shoes are very assymetrical - fairly straight on the inside, pronounced curve on the outside, semi-pointed toe, and they taper quite a bit just behind the ball of the foot unde the instep.) Similar to these except Santoni doesn't trim the waist so close.
     
  11. marc37

    marc37 Senior member

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    Brilliant. Totally brilliant shoes. l am so jealous. l love them. An all leather heal. Love the shovel toe, beautiful. Some of the nicest shoes i've seen. l would buy afew pairs if they had my size (size 7). Totally mesmerizing shoes. l am amazed. Wonderful shoes, they are the mint. l am brethless over these beauties. They rule. Thankyou very much for showing them ( l almost wish you hadn't). They are gr8 m8. Thankyou. You have teased me mercilessly. Georgeous shoes.
     
  12. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    I was with Mr. Pollock when he bought all five pairs of his J&M Hand Mades. I was also there at Bennie's, with both he and Comolli, after their famous luncheon. Mr. Pollock did not name any of the shoes "shovel soles;" instead Louie did. Both he and I would probably call them trowel shaped, like the gardening tool, the tool that Olympic runners Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddle used to dig their handmade starting blocks in "Chariots of Fire." Mr. Pollock could not find anything exactly with the same sole on the web (although he had seen custom-made ones years ago in Milan that were similar), but since the Santoni's were somewhat of the same idea, he used them to illustrate.
           Mr. Pollock did not buy any trowels or shovels himself, as they did not have any in his size. His five pairs all have regular soles. They consist of two mahogany wingtips, two black cap toes and one mahogany cap toe. He also got five boxes, but only one was velvet lined. His shoes came with three different kinds of shoelaces.
           Here is why everyone is not getting the velvet lined box that the shoes originally came in: Bennie's is quite large. It has three types of selling areas or displays. As to the shoes in which it has a full stock (90% of its shoes), AE, Foot Joy, Florsheim (and other similar junk), etc., it has the typical shoe store displays, shoes displayed around the store by brand, with one shoe each of the various models in each brand on display. In other words, against part of one wall it will have the Allen Edmonds display, with one each of the twenty or so models which it has in stock. If you find one you like, the salesman will go in the back and find the original shoebox containing your size and color. You always get the correct box.
           As to shoes in which it only has broken sizes, they are displayed out of their boxes, on tall large racks, by size, with 50-100 shoes on the rack for size 9, the same number for size 9.5, and so forth. If you buy one of these, they will give you a shoebox, but it will not likely be the box the shoe originally came in.
          Then, on the counter, near the cash register, Bennie's usually has 3-6 pairs of shoes, all which are really one-of-a-kind, even some mismatches. They may or may not be in boxes. Mr. Pollock bought his first three pairs of J&M Hand Mades over about a nine month interval, each time about two-three months apart. He goes to Bennie's every 2-3 weeks due to its excellent shine man, and due to the fact it has a huge stock of laces, polish, trees, etc. Three separate times he saw one pair of J&M Hand Mades sitting on the counter, each time in his size. Each time he was told that this was the only pair that Bennie's had and it probably would not get any more, so he bought them. These three were "seconds," were selling for $200, and were stamped "FS" on the bottom. Although he could find nothing wrong with them, they were finished differently from the last two he bought, with a simpler heel and/or basic lettering on the interior, just "J&M."
       Then about 6-8 weeks ago, the larger stock of first quality Hand Mades arrived. He bought two more. These sold for $250.00. Since the sizes were broken, Louie took most of the normal widths (B-E) out of their original boxes and put them on the racks. He kept most of the unusual widths (A-AAA and EE, etc.) in the back in their original boxes. That is why some of you are getting the original boxes and some of you are not.
     
  13. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    thanks for that explanation jerrysfriend. [​IMG]
     
  14. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    I went by Bennie's this morning and showed one of the co-owners your post. He said: "but we have some size 7's." He went to the racks, looked and then came back and said: We have them in black only, all B or C widths, two pairs in 7.5 and five pairs in size 7." They are either regular soles in wingtip or cap toes, but also include several "shovel sole" wingtips. Actually, my personal favorites are the cap toes. They are just a bit more refined and delicate looking than the others to me, while the "shovels" make the strongest and most dramatic statement and strongly say "BESPOKE."
      I also asked him about the differing boxes (velvet-lined or not) and laces. He explained as follows: He said that this batch of shoes was all made from 1980-1999, when production was discontinued. He said that the earlier models from this period came in the velvet-lined boxes, the last ones did not. He said during this 20 year period that J&M changed the types of laces that it used on them several times.
        He also gave me some even more fascinating information. This batch was apparently not the first time that Bennie's got a load of J&M Hand Mades. Long ago (and I took this to mean pre-1980) they bought another batch. He said that nearly all of the J&M Hand Mades are made by special order and the ones Bennie's bought were either not picked up by the customer or were returned to J&M for one reason or another. He said that the "Rat Pack" really loved the J&M Hand Mades and that the members usually ordered several pairs at a time. He said that Bennie's first purchase included a couple of those shoes, which had been returned to J&M because they were not liked or did not fit, etc. He said that each of these differed slightly from most of the Hand Mades and had the purchaser's name printed on the inside of the shoe. They got at least one "Frank Sinatra," one "Sammy Davis, Jr." and several "Dean Martins." I gulped hard and asked what Bennie's sold the "Frank Sinatra" for. He responded: "Just the same price; we just put them up on the racks." Unbelievable.
     
  15. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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  16. marc37

    marc37 Senior member

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    l want to get a pair of those shoes. Do you have: email address, phone number, address. (l'm sure these have been given out before, l just don't have the time to search right now).
     
  17. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    Boy, this topic really takes me back to when I was a kid and admired these shoes in my father's office in the basement. Probably when I developed an interest in the business. Anyway, the sole was called a 'Detroit Spade'. Probably not the most politically correct term now, but that's what Domenic called it. Really just a point of extension across the ball when they trimmed the outsoles - not a function of the last. BTW, the shoes were not fully handmade - the factory prepared the uppers, lasted them, Domenic (and then Raymond Robinson) would hand stitch the welt to the insole and the outsole to the welt, then they would be returned to the factory to be trimmed. The laces were silk. Don't remember wooden boxes. The date codes should be on the lining; if I remember correctly, they went year/month. In other words, if the 4 digit stamp is 0912, they were made in December of 1989 (or 1999). I forget what the first digit was, and I could have this backwards, I just don't remember exactly. But every shoe is stamped with a manufacture date.
    Also, the calf was Freudenburg Calf (black) or Willow Calf (brown). Great shoes.
     
  18. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    It is Bennie's Shoes 2625 Piedmont Rd NE Atlanta, GA 30324 Phone (404) 262-1966 Â The web site is: http://benniesshoes.com/ I think, but am not sure, that e-mails may only go to its Cumberland Square store, but all of these shoes are at the Buckhead Crossing location listed above. Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  19. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    hi, are silk laces easily obtainable now? would i need to go to a johnston & murphy store, or would any good shoe puveyor carry them?

    thanks - this is a great thread. i can't believe how much backstory i'm getting on my great new shoes.

    /andrew
     
  20. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    I asked Mr. Pollock about the writing on the inside of his five pairs of Handmade J & Ms. Unfortunately, he has been wearing two of them regularly for several months and can no longer make out what was written on them. As to the other three, they read, in addition to the size and model number (either 24-3015 or 24-3016), as follows:
    a) Brown wingtip-printed: 25743; "108N"
    b) Brown wingtip (velvet box)-printed: 96664; "906N"
    c) Black cap toe-nos. written in hand: 79344; "1-006"
    From your post, I am guessing that the second numbers (the numbers around which I have put quotation marks) are the dates of manufacture, and that these were made in the following years:
    a) 8/81 or 8/91
    b) 6/79 (instead of in 1989, due to the velvet box, which was only used for the earlier ones)
    c) 6/80 or 6/90.
    Does this seem right?
    Due to their age, do you think it might be a good idea to give these shoes an overnight coating of leather conditioner plus two light coats of wax polish before wearing them?
     

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