Shoe construction methods

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by alchimiste, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Yes.
     


  2. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    Actually, they do. What IS different is the finish Berluti requires...which is nothing more than alcohol and 1 hour under the brushes to build the sheen. Of, course, this is why many of the models turn 'milky' after a few creases - I've heard the shoes look alot better on the shelf, than in the closet, so to speak. If you search the archives, you will see many threads about the flexability of the Italians in how they produce shoes. It is a very different mentality than the US/UK production line process. It is not just changing the heel seats in the shoes and putting them in different boxes. Anyone, you included, can go to Italy and, if you have enough money, can detail your own shoes/designs/lasts, etc. I have been doing it for years, and I am just small potatoes. I am working on a concept now where a customer can come to my shop and, first, have his foot measured in either 3D or in the traditional 'bespoke' process for a custom last, have the last profile processed into a CAD/CAM program and then we can use that program to design a pattern individually. The dimensions of the last are sent directly to the last maker outside of Milan and run into a CNC lathe to produce the last which is then forwarded to the factory in Vigevano where the shoes are made. The computer manages this entire process so that the customer/last maker/shoe design/factory relationship is seamless. At this time, it appears that all this is possible for a retail price of around $500...at least at this early stage of development. So, as you can see, it is very easy for a 'brand' to come up with different designs and have them produced in a modern factory so as to appear as unique production. Finally, every Italian manufacturer I work with also produces for more than one of the marketed 'brands'...one that I carry produces for Gucci, Prada, Valentino, Bruno Magli, and many I have never heard of. My most popular line is a factory that was offered the Berluti contract and passed as Berluti was only offering 15 euro per pair for the finish, and that was not worth it to him...
     


  3. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Weston uses a Goodyear welt. They have a cut open shoe in the Boston store to show the design. I could be wrong, but I believe the feather is hand-carved, as opposed to glued.
     


  4. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

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    [​IMG]
     


  5. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    Nice one. Thanks for that post. I will certainly try out their shoes in Paris.
     


  6. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    (A Harris @ May 05 2005,05:53) I must say that there is not much there I would wear, and there were a whole lot of hideously UGLY shoes. Anybody with me on this??
    Yes.
    Yes. Olga did have some inspirations with the scarified lines and the tattooed shoes, but much of what's being sold there is gross. Particularly violent offenders include: - the Allodi line with the big "B" shield over the laces - the writing line featuring the text of a royal decree -- about what? the price of wheat? sanitary standards for vespasiennes? - the entire Dandy Sauvage line - the patched shoes That being said, I do feel Berlutis look more refined in shape and design than many Stefanobis. And having seen Stefanobis for 400-500 euros in Paris, it's unpleasant to see Stefanobis sold for $1000. The finishing process on Berlutis is very cool, particularly in the shops where you can specify any color and any antiquing you want. However, to judge by their website they're offering a sadly limited palette as they expand. I own and love my Tibetas, durable wholecuts. I don't think I'd shop at Berluti again knowing what I know now, however. RJman
     


  7. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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  8. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

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    It's like for big movies releases, we'll start waiting in line right now.
     


  9. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

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    Is it the leather quality or the construction that is to blame?
    What would you recommend instead of Berluti?

    Mathieu
     


  10. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Weston uses a "raised" feather - it is indeed cut into the insole, but by a machine.
     


  11. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

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    Another way of putting it is "what's the total cost of the shoes?".
    - A shoe which must be resoled more often (thin/soft sole) will cost more on the long run.
    - A shoe which is harder to resole due to its construction will be more expensive to resole.
    - A shoe that will be ugly/uncomfortable because of heavy creasing will last less.
    - A shoe made of cheap material will last less.

    So if you divide the total cost (purchase + resoling) by the life time of the shoes you find out that quality of construction/leather contributes a great deal to the total cost of the shoes. So in order to know if some shoes are really worth buying I need to know how much they will cost in the long run.

    Mathieu
     


  12. brescd01

    brescd01 Senior member

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    Rider (or anyone), can you describe the significance of a "hand-made" or "bench-made" shoe versus a "machine-made" one?
     


  13. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    Well, in regards to a handmade shoe, or any handmade item for that matter, there is as much an appreciation for the effort and care that went into the product versus a similiar item that is machine made - there is more to the decision than just 'is it better?'. Similiar to buying an original piece of artwork rather than a print. Of course the product is 'better'; but to what extent is always debateable. Without discounting the viability of a machine-made shoe, the handmade version will be a tighter construction, with obvious characteristics of handwork in the stitching, will fit better as the time to properly last and humidify the uppers is available without the pressure of production timetables and the materials will be upgraded (linings/insoles/outsoles) as the investment allows. Generally speaking, much more care is taken - not to mention the opportunities to detail what you want without the factory restrictions that can sometimes cause compromise. I believe the overwhelming signifigance, however, is the appreciation of the 'art' of the handmade shoe...it can be worn with pride and the knowledge that an old art can be maintained due to the wearers support and encouragement. In every industry machines and robots, lasers and computers have been developed to replace human hands, and, while this has certainly been a benefit to the population as a whole, there should still be a place for true artisans to work and achieve products that are appreciated by a select few.
    Unfortunately, IMO, the marketers have made this niche virtually unreachable to anyone but the very wealthy due to the incredible price they demand...un-neccessarily so. At least that is the angle I am exploring. I know of a few talented individuals who want to carry on this tradition, and do not have the expences that would require a large loan to purchase from, and hope to offer a program shortly that will keep them busy doing what they love.
     


  14. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

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    So what's the actual extra cost of hand made compared to machine made?
     


  15. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

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    Who has a factory and who does not?
     


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