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Shoe Recommendation: AC, G&G, Stefano Bemer, St. Crispin's, or Meccariello?

Deeky

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Background: I own several pairs of mid-range shoes (Carmina, Vass, Alfred Sargent etc.), and have decided to purchase my first pair of truly high-end footwear. In this regard, I would like opinions from people with experience regarding the above makers - perferably someone who owns shoes from 2 or more of these makers.

What I'm looking for:

Colour: I'm looking for a pair of dark brown double-monks. May also be open to wholecuts with a simple medallion. I prefer a darker shade (as opposed to light/orangey) such as mahogany, coffee or something with a touch of red. However, it should not be so dark as to appear black.

Last/shape: I only want something really long and narrow (aggressive) with a chisel/square toe. G&G's deco last.

Sole: Must be bevelled. Ideally fiddleback as well.

Budget: Willing to spend around $1,500 USD (can be RTW or MTO) - hardcap of $2,000, but i prefer not to go there.

I've not had the opportunity to see Cleverley's in person, but the AC line seems to be very highly regarded, although they tend to look bad (or at least worst than the others) in photos.

As for the rest, I don't have much experience with any of them, but going by pictures, these are my top picks so far:

Bemer.jpg


Stefano Bemer

GG.jpg



G&G

STC.jpg

Saint Crispin's (but not in this colour)



Your opinions and views are very welcome, thank you.
 

Stefan88

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Background: I own several pairs of mid-range shoes (Carmina, Vass, Alfred Sargent etc.), and have decided to purchase my first pair of truly high-end footwear. In this regard, I would like opinions from people with experience regarding the above makers - perferably someone who owns shoes from 2 or more of these makers.

What I'm looking for:

Colour: I'm looking for a pair of dark brown double-monks. May also be open to wholecuts with a simple medallion. I prefer a darker shade (as opposed to light/orangey) such as mahogany, coffee or something with a touch of red. However, it should not be so dark as to appear black.

Last/shape: I only want something really long and narrow (aggressive) with a chisel/square toe. G&G's deco last.

Sole: Must be bevelled. Ideally fiddleback as well.

Budget: Willing to spend around $1,500 USD (can be RTW or MTO) - hardcap of $2,000, but i prefer not to go there.

I've not had the opportunity to see Cleverley's in person, but the AC line seems to be very highly regarded, although they tend to look bad (or at least worst than the others) in photos.

As for the rest, I don't have much experience with any of them, but going by pictures, these are my top picks so far:

View attachment 1205282

Stefano Bemer

View attachment 1205283


G&G

View attachment 1205285
Saint Crispin's (but not in this colour)



Your opinions and views are very welcome, thank you.
G&G or the new RTW from Foster would be good.
The fiddleback from Foster is really nice, and you'd end up at around 1000-1100 GBP with a MTO. The finishing reminded me of Top Drawer from EG.
 

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dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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I say hold off on an expensive sleek double monk purchase. If you really want to drop that kind of money, make it a more classic style. While double monks are roughly classic, they're also very 2010 #menswear. I would wait and see how your taste evolves in the next year or two before purchasing something like that.
 

greenhouse

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Vass... mid-range... ok. Anyway, go for a Bemer. They are exquisite.
 

JLPII

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As you're looking for long, narrow, well G&G Deco last, I suggest get the Oakham.
You can see from this video below, though in Chinese but you get the picture.

I have both AC and G&G. Both are very nice shoes, but G&G Deco is on another level in terms of finishing and details.

And as you're into double monks, I suggest you take a look at John Lobb chapel.
I attached the pic from another member. My apologies.
 

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Stefan88

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[ :) QUOTE="dieworkwear, post: 9819640, member: 120890"]
I say hold off on an expensive sleek double monk purchase. If you really want to drop that kind of money, make it a more classic style. While double monks are roughly classic, they're also very 2010 #menswear. I would wait and see how your taste evolves in the next year or two before purchasing something like that.
[/QUOTE]
I also agree with this, but if a brown double link is really what you want, why not
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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I also agree with this, but if a brown double link is really what you want, why not
I may be jumping to conclusions -- probably -- but I just assume the poster is just getting into higher-end clothing. His other posts are in SLP and artisanal threads. Nothing wrong with that (I find the open-mindedness refreshing), but it sounds like he's experimenting with his sense of style and building a new wardrobe.

His criteria were: very high end double monks, made on a super sleek last, with a fiddle back waist, and possibly a color with a "touch of red." That might be fine if you're in your 8th year of being into this stuff, but if he's new and experimenting, it also sounds like one of those things you wear for a couple of years until you realize it doesn't look very good.

At which point, you sell them on eBay or StyleForum B&S, where you hope someone is in that Venn diagram middle of unicorn buyers: someone with a lot of money to spend and has sort of newbie taste (aggressive, very stylized, and somewhat trendy). Except, for the OP, that will be in the year 2023, which will be about 13 years after the hashtag menswear thing and even fewer people will want red double monks with a fiddle back waist, let alone a used pair going for $1,000 (50% off).

That said, if the OP is confident in his taste, I agree -- why not. I'm all for people just enjoying their clothes. But if he's just starting to build a wardrobe, his taste can quickly evolve over the course of a year or two. If you really want to drop that kind of money, make it a classic shoe that, even if you find boring now and later, will be useful and you won't mind keeping for many, many years to come. Sleek, red double monks aren't that shoe.

IMO, the best CM stuff generally stays around for many years. All the gimmicky things in the past prove themselves later to be ... not so great. So if it's a genuinely good purchase, it'll be a good purchase two years from now.
 

aj2603

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The construction of St. Crispin is second to none. out of all of these they are the ones which are hand welted. G&G uses gemming (like 90% of factory shoes). Unless u go bespoke, this is the preferred method by most RTW shoes.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Some fit issues for the OP to consider, if he really wants to get these. In my experience:

Saint Crispins: These fit very close to the foot, so you'll want to work with a store that's good at fitting people online (or, if you can, find a local stockist). Often times, small idiosyncrasies in your feet will show through in StC because the leather fits so close and the waist starts off kind of stiff. Many people find they need to do a modified last (if you do this, I really recommend ordering a trial shoe).

G&G: I find these are easier to fit, but they're still fairly narrow. Again, make sure you can return.

Bemer: In my experience, Bemer fits a little roomier across the instep than the other two brands. Whether this is good for you depends on your feet. If you have a high instep, it's possibly only Bemer will work. If you have a normal or lower instep, I would go for StC or G&G.
 

Stefan88

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I may be jumping to conclusions -- probably -- but I just assume the poster is just getting into higher-end clothing. His other posts are in SLP and artisanal threads. Nothing wrong with that (I find the open-mindedness refreshing), but it sounds like he's experimenting with his sense of style and building a new wardrobe.

His criteria were: very high end double monks, made on a super sleek last, with a fiddle back waist, and possibly a color with a "touch of red." That might be fine if you're in your 8th year of being into this stuff, but if he's new and experimenting, it also sounds like one of those things you wear for a couple of years until you realize it doesn't look very good.

At which point, you sell them on eBay or StyleForum B&S, where you hope someone is in that Venn diagram middle of unicorn buyers: someone with a lot of money to spend and has sort of newbie taste (aggressive, very stylized, and somewhat trendy). Except, for the OP, that will be in the year 2023, which will be about 13 years after the hashtag menswear thing and even fewer people will want red double monks with a fiddle back waist, let alone a used pair going for $1,000 (50% off).

That said, if the OP is confident in his taste, I agree -- why not. I'm all for people just enjoying their clothes. But if he's just starting to build a wardrobe, his taste can quickly evolve over the course of a year or two. If you really want to drop that kind of money, make it a classic shoe that, even if you find boring now and later, will be useful and you won't mind keeping for many, many years to come. Sleek, red double monks aren't that shoe.

IMO, the best CM stuff generally stays around for many years. All the gimmicky things in the past prove themselves later to be ... not so great. So if it's a genuinely good purchase, it'll be a good purchase two years from now.
The best choice would probably be a nice Oxford or Derby that gets a lot of wear. Extremely sleek lasts are to myself an oddity. Being size 10.5 or 11, they always end up looking like Ramon Cubertas.
 

Deeky

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Thank you everyone for the comments, it is very much appreciated. I think I should clarify a few things so as to facilitate the discussion.

Firstly, I have very small feet (US 6.5-7), so even very aggressive lasts appear merely sleek in those sizes. A regular round/almond toe looks can begin to look like clown shoes, hence the choice of last.

I also seem to have problem wearing oxfords (probably due to instep), and I find monks by far the most comfortable for me. I also like the look of them, so I do not have issues with them running out of style or anything - I like them.

and @dieworkwear's assumptions are actually partially correct - I've been in the workforce for close to 4 years, so I do have a go-to wardrobe. However, I also tend to experiment and sometimes impulse buy whatever clothing I like (therefore the SLP / Guidi posts). I am lucky enough to be in a financial position where I can afford such luxuries without feeling too much of a pinch, but that doesn't mean i'll drop thousands at a whim.

From the comments above, It seems that AC is out. My thoughts on G&G is that the leather tends not to age well as far as the others (based on pictures I've seen only), and that it requires alot more effort to maintain. St.C's and the Bemers are actually my top choices now. Bemer's look fantastic, but are also ridiculously expensive - about $1,250 (i was quoted 1090 euro for the lovely pair posted above) and that is for its RTW range without shoe trees.

Thanks again for the comments, I appreciate it. Any other suggestions for other shoe brands are also welcome. I've also been considering the Westminster from EG, but right now its a 3rd for me due to the last shape. The leather does look amazing though.
 

circumspice

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Bemer's MTO fees are nearly nothing though, and rtw has trees included, so mto would as well.

I have a pair of Bemer which are slightly too wide - that is what happens when you try on shoes after walking around Florence all morning. I wear them, but the fit isnt where I'd like it to be. Fit is paramount - Carmina Simpson works extremely well for me. EG doesnt have many resellers offering models in D width any more, and they turned over a lot of lasts, and I just cannot be bothered to do experimenting with a brand where I probably am limited to pricey mto. One of GGs lasts works beautifully for me, but 2 others are "ok" .
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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From the comments above, It seems that AC is out. My thoughts on G&G is that the leather tends not to age well as far as the others (based on pictures I've seen only), and that it requires alot more effort to maintain.
That's just crust leather. StC also uses crust leather. It's more about the leather type than the maker.
 

Stefan88

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That's just crust leather. StC also uses crust leather. It's more about the leather type than the maker.
Most high end makers use crust. EG for example. The crust may come from different tanneries with different finishing though, and it's not all the same.
 

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