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Ordering Vass?

Lawman

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I am trying to place my first Vass order. I have tried to reach them via email, and have received kind of sporadic responses. Is there a better way to order, by telephone for example? Thanks.
 

grimslade

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Because we all know that's the only way to order Vass stateside. Right? Right?
 

Sprezzatura2010

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If you don't mind my asking, I'm curious why you'd be so eager to order Vass. Or order any shoes blind without having tried them or at least something in the same last. Unless you've previously tried them on or bought a pair at a store. That would change things.

I've seen a few of their shoes, and own one pair that I bought on steep discount a few years ago: a black pebblegrain derby with commando sole that is in my rain shoe rotation. Overall, they seem nice but no nicer than lots of stuff available in the US and Europe at an equal or lower price. They were really outlandishly expensive for what they were when I saw them for sale at Bergdorf Goodman a few years ago, compared to what they cost in Europe. Also, a few of the designs in their Budapest store seemed very cartoonish to me, and there are other makers I think who do their classic "Budapester" style better, such as Dinkelacker and Ludwig Reiter.

I mean, if you can find them for the 150EUR that my pair cost I think they're a good value. But at full price, I think there are better options.
 

Lawman

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I'm really just curious to try. A lot of folks on here whose opinions I've grown to value highly speak of Vass shoes in reverent tones. I've seen a video of how they are made and was very impressed with the workmanship. I think the shoes on the U and F lasts are gorgeous. As for sizing, we don't have high end shoes here in North Carolina. The Edward Greens, C&Js and Tramezzas (my high end) that I have purchasd on the Internet were purchased without the benefit of ever having tried them on. I am a size 13 US, and I have yet to try on a UK12 or a US 13 that did not fit me well. I am very un-fussy when it comes to fit. If it doesn't give me blisters or squeeze my feet, they're fine. Voxsartoria's posts and pics certainly helped.
 

Montesquieu

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If you've been to the store in Budapest, determined your preferred size and last(s), and ordered directly, then reordering from them via email is straightforward. However, if you haven't been there in person, then I think they prefer that you deal with a retailer.

Note that their delayed email responses may be due to this being August (European vacation month, during which their cobblers are on vacation) and Eva Vass having been on maternity leave.

There are plenty of threads on SF discusing the remote retail options.
 

Sprezzatura2010

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Wow, I had no idea Vass had such a huge following here! I did a search for the word and came up with 500 threads! Interesting about your tolerance for fit. Must be a nice way to build up a great shoe collection. I know that every time I've tried to order a shoe untried, my feet have rebelled and I have ended up giving the shoes to charity. I have not read anything about those 500 threads or seen the video you mention, but I did buy Lazlo Vass's book a while ago because it was on the discount rack at a box bookstore and looked interesting and I read it. I also seem to own shoes from every "high end" shoemaker except for Saint Crispin and Dinkelacker: Green, Lobb, C&J, Weston, Reiter, Sutor Mantellassi, Lattanzi, Tanino Crisci, Materna bespoke, Ferragamo Tramezza (those are impressive shoes!), Grenson, Paraboot, Alden, Allen-Edmonds, Gravati, Santoni, Church's, etc. I don't think my Vass shoes are bad shoes, but they don't seem to be the creme de la creme either. The Stuart's Choice Grensons I bought from a great local shoe resource earlier this month for under $250 including sales tax seem better-made than my Vass shoes.
 

Lawman

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Bennie's? I missed out on that one. Someone cleaned out the size 13 Timothy's before I could pull the trigger!
 

Montesquieu

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Originally Posted by Lawman
I'm really just curious to try. A lot of folks on here whose opinions I've grown to value highly speak of Vass shoes in reverent tones. I've seen a video of how they are made and was very impressed with the workmanship. I think the shoes on the U and F lasts are gorgeous. As for sizing, we don't have high end shoes here in North Carolina. The Edward Greens, C&Js and Tramezzas (my high end) that I have purchasd on the Internet were purchased without the benefit of ever having tried them on. I am a size 13 US, and I have yet to try on a UK12 or a US 13 that did not fit me well. I am very un-fussy when it comes to fit. If it doesn't give me blisters or squeeze my feet, they're fine. Voxsartoria's posts and pics certainly helped.

Their shoes cost $650 (before import duties) including trees, if you buy direct. They're MTO and entirely hand made. You pick the last, size, leather, sole, color, stitching. That's hard to beat. I don't know what the remote retailers charge, but if you can't make your way to Budapest for a first purchase, then I'm sure they're still cheaper than most alternatives at retail.

My modest collection includes EG, JL, G&G, Corthay, Santoni, and Mantellassi, most purchased directly from the manufacturers. I enjoy them all for different reasons. But they each cost at least 50% more than Vass, and that's one reason why I own 8 pair of Vass and no more than 2 of each of the others. Vass is great value.
 

scot

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last i checked they were 900-1200 in the us.
 

Zandros

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Originally Posted by Sprezzatura2010
Wow, I had no idea Vass had such a huge following here! I did a search for the word and came up with 500 threads!

It's even more. 500 is the default cut off limit for searches.

Sometimes I'm tempted to get a 160€ Interrail pass and catch a train down to Budapest.

/Adrian
 

Montesquieu

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Originally Posted by scot
last i checked they were 900-1200 in the us.

Direct from Vass, they're €410 ($615) including trees exported, before import duties. That's the price I paid for three pair just last week.
 

Sprezzatura2010

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Originally Posted by Lawman
Bennie's? I missed out on that one.
You guys all know about Bennie's? Damn. How did that happen? I guess in the age of the internet nothing's a local secret any more, for better or worse. But since I'm not buying any more shoes for a little while, they have a great black pebblegrain ankle boot with a Danite sole on display. I don't know if they go as high as 13. Besides the cognac wingtips I pulled off of their clearance wall and took home, their other Stuart's Choice Grensons did not appeal to me. I also like that the new ones come with the original boxes and bags. The first couple pairs I bought (years ago, at a branch out in the sticks near where my parents live) came in white boxes with no bags.
 

voxsartoria

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Originally Posted by Sprezzatura2010
I also seem to own shoes from every "high end" shoemaker except for Saint Crispin and Dinkelacker: Green, Lobb, C&J, Weston, Reiter, Sutor Mantellassi, Lattanzi, Tanino Crisci, Materna bespoke, Ferragamo Tramezza (those are impressive shoes!), Grenson, Paraboot, Alden, Allen-Edmonds, Gravati, Santoni, Church's, etc.

I don't think my Vass shoes are bad shoes, but they don't seem to be the creme de la creme either. The Stuart's Choice Grensons I bought from a great local shoe resource earlier this month for under $250 including sales tax seem better-made than my Vass shoes.


Well, "creme de la creme" is subjective, but "better-made" should be more objective. While there might be a few corrections or updates here or there, this jcusey post on another forum is as good a place as any to understand why Vass is appealing.

My RTW dress shoe collection is pretty extensive, and I own and wear about fifteen pairs each of Vass, Lobb, EG, and Alden...and a variety of others in fewer numbers like Lattanzi, Saint Crispin's, Kiton, Tramezzas, Grenson Masterpieces, C&Js, Sutors, etc. I like all of them in their own way, but Vass do not lose any ground to the best, and their construction comes closer to a top bespoke shoe if only for the handlasting and handwelting. Plus, one aquires them basically MTO, and it is a pleasure to spec details.

I am not sure why your one pair of Vass is so unsatisfying, but it is great that you have other shoes that you really like.

- B
 

Sprezzatura2010

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Interesting. I had no idea they were so good from a technical perspective. I do think my Tramezzas, Westons, and lone pair of Lattanzis use "better" leather than Vass. Or Edward Green.

I would not say that my pair of Vass are "unsatisfying." I do not dislike them in any way. They are comfortable, if a little blobby. (Is "Peter" a Vass last type? If so, that's what mine are on.) They have been durable. Their shoe trees are nice.

There is just nothing about them that leads me to think that they are super special shoes, worthy of buying from across the ocean untried and sight unseen. But I am just a guy who has bought too many pairs of expensive shoes, not someone with a deep knowledge of different construction techniques and so on.
 

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