1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

The Berluti shoe thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by A Harris, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. stilmacher

    stilmacher Senior member

    Messages:
    1,030
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Interesting thread.

    In Italy, there is a word - 'garbo', and, while difficult to translate, Berluti embodies it. Basically, it means bullshit.....but with grace - the ability to convince foreigners that they are welcome, that everyone here is available to serve them and that the most special circumstances have just occured to make your visit the highlight of their day, if not week or even month. It's a well orchestrated, and time proven, charade.

    [​IMG][/IMG]



    I recently posted something on the subject and the amount of angry replies was astonishing. Having been a Berlutian myself, I sort of understand that. Nonetheless it is a fact that Berluti is almost a pure marketing construction unparelled in the shoe world (maybe by Crocs...).
    So "garbo" is about right...
     
  2. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

    Messages:
    26,133
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    FOLKESTONE
    We do have an expression to describe Garbo in French "poudre aux yeux"....
    Berluti is a bit "Love them or loathe them".....
    The brand name is always bringing extreme reactions....
    I did buy twice into the mystics but their charade ,poudre aux yeux ,garbo is not for me....
    Their shoes are like beautiful models we all like to be seen with before we realise they are actually shallow and uninteresting persons....
    Too much antique,protocole and history for me....
    I want not only beautiful shoes but also good leather and construction and i'm paying an obscene amount of money for that.....
    I do not give a scooby about Olga berluti and her aura ,i just want very good shoes...
     
  3. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,582
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    [​IMG]
     
  4. ABALO

    ABALO Senior member

    Messages:
    262
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Location:
    LONDON
    We do have an expression to describe Garbo in French "poudre aux yeux"....
    Berluti is a bit "Love them or loathe them".....
    The brand name is always bringing extreme reactions....
    I did buy twice into the mystics but their charade ,poudre aux yeux ,garbo is not for me....
    Their shoes are like beautiful models we all like to be seen with before we realise they are actually shallow and uninteresting persons....
    Too much antique,protocole and history for me....
    I want not only beautiful shoes but also good leather and construction and i'm paying an obscene amount of money for that.....
    I do not give a scooby about Olga berluti and her aura ,i just want very good shoes...


    I do have a very questionable approach to social etiquette making me very prone to extreme mood swings!!!!!!!![​IMG]
    I can very "excentrique"...
    I do like a very direct working relationship based on trust and respect....
    I'm very good on networking but sometimes quite weak on strict etiquette ...
    I go ,i ask the price ,i pay and the rest is comedy...
    I do expect to be entertained not bored to death..............


    I do find Berluti as annoying as the stuffy "suit you sir" tailors form Savile row...
    I know we're buying into the myth ,the Berluti mystic but...............
    Being patronized by Olga herself is one thing and some people are loving it but when it is coming from one of our glorified sales people!!!!!!!!!!!![​IMG]
    I do remeber going to the Conduit street shop in London where a young blonde lady told me that i did not understand Berluti...
    Ok ,i have spent my pounds on that day with the friendly director of John Lobb jermyn street...
    I will never come back to berluti and i never wear my Alessandro and i'm spending my euro/pounds with Delos and Gaziano...


    Dimitri Gomez is a fantastic shoe designer and everybody in the shoe world will tell you the same thing about him..
    I'm sorry if i did offend some Vass followers but i'm not unfortunately a big fan....
    I do try to talk about designers i do know but i'm open-minded on new styles...


    Normally the name of Berluti is always quite controversial on every fashion forums i have been to....
    I do own Berluti RTW and i do know their limits in terms of quality but Berluti bespoke is up there with the best....
    Berluti is the most creative shoemakers in the world and they introduced us to different patinas being acceptable on our shoes...
    On the negative side ,certain models are very challenging (too much for me to be honest!!!!!) and they suffer from an "esprit de chapelle" making them a bit snobish and up themselves...
    The Venezia leather is also to fragile to my liking being a Lobbist...
    Corthay is very interesting and very creative....The workmanship is very very high and the model are welll made ....Not my cup of tea in terms of shapes but i do respect the brothers because they're real artisans with vision and passion...
    Anthony Delos is very good ...He was trained in John Lobb workshops and is the perfect mix between a French artisan with vision and skills and the British sense of measure and elegance...
    He is making me two pairs of bespoke at the moment and i would recommend him over a lot of more famous names of this forum....
    Dimitri Gomez is also excellent.and starting to be worlwide reconition.....
    On the Italian versus British debate ,even if i do prefer Italian tailors than their English counterparts ,i do not like Italian shoes.....
    I love hybrid modelssuch asDelos orDimitri Gomez because they mix English sense of elegancewithsome Latin twist making their shoes as beautiful as well constructed....


    To be perfectly honest ,Anthony Delos told me himself that Dimitri Gomez is one of the best in the world at the moment!!!!!!!!!!![​IMG]
    I do like Anthony because he is not catty or bitchy ....
    He has got a lot of respect for others such Gaziano and Corthay and i do like this quality in a man....
    Learning from others and appreciating their works will make him better every year....
    I do think that Corthay,Gomez ,DelosandGaziano are the best with the Japanese masters such asSuzuki and others...



    SO, WHAT IS YOUR POINT ???
     
  5. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    18,647
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Location:
    In the not too distant future
    oh great the french are eating their own now...
     
  6. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

    Messages:
    1,357
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    RVA - NYC
    In the finishing? Or the work?

    Berluti is a brand.....they don't make shoes. Ferrarese make most of the LV brands production, but it is common to have shared production, or if a special line is needed (say they want to introduce a small range of Goodyear), to find someone else to make them to your specs. In this case it was something for a different line, as the finishing requirements were actually less than what we had heard (2 hours per shoe for the Swiss leather[Venezia I think it's called]) and we supplied the leather. I have no idea who picked up the contract, or if it even was developed - samples and ideas fly around Italy all day long....most never see the market.

    Anyway, it's not so complicated - brand builds business, hires modelist (either in-house or freelance, mostly freelance), they spend all day designing shoes, sourcing manager goes around either the Milan area or the Marche to visit factories, see the work, give the blueprint, ask for samples, finalize a price for production and the requirements of delivery.....brand takes samples to market, gets orders (or not, mostly) and off you go. For most brands who have some connection to manufacturing (like LVMH and Gucci Group), the early stages of a line are contracted and, if successful, is then brought into it's own production.

    It's really no different than what I do here....take the potential work we are doing with Tom at LeatherSoleHawaii.....RM had no production in Shell Cordovan - I had a long talk with Tom in Las Vegas, we decided to see about a small group of shoes in SC, I talked with Skip Horween and bought all available shells on the market for our concerns (not #8 and black...all other colors) and worked with him to do 2 custom colors, Tom gave me a couple of pattern idea's, we took some out of our archives and developed one just for him, and now we are delivering the samples for final approval.....this work was all between Tom and I, and RM is simply making what we want - same thing as a brands work.

    As for the finishing, this is really what you pay for in a Berluti shoe....everything else is readily available from many other brands at a much lower price. There is nothing special about the shoes from a construction point of view - many small factories make excellent shoes - and the Venezia leather is simply a small production calfskin that has little or no surface veining (which is why Berluti needs it....it is dependable in production and requires little thought by the finishers as they can strip color without problems), but the time requirements in finishing are unique, and costly. Let's say a typical factory in Italy employs 15 workers and finishes, on average, 100 pair per day (and this is the norm....if you employ over 15, I think, you are taxed as a 'production' factory as opposed to a 'artisan' workshop/factory whose tax base is MUCH lower - at least this is what I understand the numbers to be). The finishing room will employ 3-4 of the staff, and the average time in finishing for a high quality shoe is anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, and the work is shared, not individuals doing all the finishing of each pair. Now, lets say you have two groups of shoes being made....120 pair for A and 120 pair for Berluti (or anyone needing this sort of time...makes no difference). Customer A, if everything goes as hoped (and I think there was a Wednesday in 2005 where everything actually did go as hoped) can have his shoes finished in 2 days, basically, but customer B's shoes will take more than 1 week! Add to that the fact that now, since the finishing room is all backed up, you had to slow down production of other shoes and you have a huge premium to pay for those 120 pair with the long, alcohol finish. That's what you pay for.

    Finally, most of us are probably just jealous of them as, using the picture posted above as an example (please, no offense intended...just using the available information to give my opinion and that's all...there are plenty of people who don't like my shoes), they can charge a premium for their shoes while, if the same thing happened in the finish on our shoes, we would have a return.
     
  7. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Ron,

    I usually enjoy your commentary but here I believe you don't know what you are talking about. Berluti does have a bespoke operation and does make their own shoes there. While you seem to dismiss them as a "brand" there is some rich history with this company and a tradition of well crafted shoes. I have the same concerns everyone has about the LV takeover but I feel you dismiss their accomplishments unjustly.

    We've known for some time on the board that the RTW line has been done by contract manufacturers (I believe the StefanoBi team, also good shoes) but that is quite common in the industry. More importantly I can't see any issues with quality. I own about six pairs and they have all held up beautifully over the years. They are some of my best "going out" shoes.

    As for customer loyalty, the reason may be the distinctness of the finish and design and Olga plays a large role in this (or at least used to) and good customer service. I have been very well served in the London and Milan stores and both stores I visited in Tokyo.

    Berluti is certainly not on the order of EG or the bespoke makers but they make a fine shoe.
     
  8. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

    Messages:
    9,452
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Ron,

    I usually enjoy your commentary but here I believe you don't know what you are talking about. Berluti does have a bespoke operation and does make their own shoes there. While you seem to dismiss them as a "brand" there is some rich history with this company and a tradition of well crafted shoes. I have the same concerns everyone has about the LV takeover but I feel you dismiss their accomplishments unjustly.

    We've known for some time on the board that the RTW line has been done by contract manufacturers (I believe the StefanoBi team, also good shoes) but that is quite common in the industry. More importantly I can't see any issues with quality. I own about six pairs and they have all held up beautifully over the years. They are some of my best "going out" shoes.

    As for customer loyalty, the reason may be the distinctness of the finish and design and Olga plays a large role in this (or at least used to) and good customer service. I have been very well served in the London and Milan stores and both stores I visited in Tokyo.

    Berluti is certainly not on the order of EG or the bespoke makers but they make a fine shoe.

    Can you judge and define a company by what is only a minute fraction of their business? 99%+ of Berluti's business is not their bespoke shoes. I don't think it would be accurate to use that portion of their business to claim that they are a shoemaker and not a "brand" selling the shoes made by others. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I like Ralph Lauren very much, and that's a "brand."
     
  9. stilmacher

    stilmacher Senior member

    Messages:
    1,030
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    I think Artisan Fan is simply being carried away a little because he owns some Berlutis. Berluti is and will remain a huge marketing construction. If you choose to believe in that fine after all they have to make up for the 900.000 Euro they lost last year. Maybe by reducing costs (ie quality) and raising prices yet a little more.

    Besides I just checked at The Marbeuf store: even the de mesure collection is blake constructed. When I pulled the shoe-tree out of the sample to check I was told of by the sales assitant "sorry Sir, you are not allowed to do that...". I wonder why...
     
  10. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

    Messages:
    2,281
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Besides I just checked at The Marbeuf store: even the de mesure collection is blake constructed. When I pulled the shoe-tree out of the sample to check I was told of by the sales assitant "sorry Sir, you are not allowed to do that...". I wonder why...

    Your theory is that they don't want you manhandling their display shoes because they don't want everyone to realize that the shoes are actually blake constructed? Perhaps they don't want you manhandling their shoes because they don't want you manhandling their shoes.
     
  11. stilmacher

    stilmacher Senior member

    Messages:
    1,030
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Your theory is that they don't want you manhandling their display shoes because they don't want everyone to realize that the shoes are actually blake constructed? Perhaps they don't want you manhandling their shoes because they don't want you manhandling their shoes.

    Sure, that would make sense and due to the polish I could understand that (although I would fin it disagreeable). However he gave me the shoe to hold and only complained when I removed the tree.
     
  12. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

    Messages:
    1,357
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    RVA - NYC
    I'm sure they do.

    Do you really think I 'dismissed' them? How? I think I said we were jealous of them, and studied their shoes each season. I would not call that dsmissive.

    If you do a search, you will find that I have stated here that I like most of their designs.

    I did not say the quality of manufacture was bad, just that it was nothing special...I stand behind that until proven differently. Can you tell me how they are any better than, say, Gravati?

    My point was in the finishing....the picture posted is a heavily alcohol wiped finish that, for all except Berluti, would be sent back for a refund at the point of spidering like this....and I would give it.

    Now I am confused....you take issue with my post, claim they make their own bespoke shoes in their own shop, yet comment that they are not as good as EG or the bespoke makers? Please clarify....it's good for the conversation.

    Finally, I am not sure I was being negative as much as stating some facts....you can decide wether to take it as a negative or a positive. I would argue that the explaination of the time required, and the leather used, could be taken by many as a positive in how they view Berluti.....Martegani certainly is not going to spend 2 hours wiping shoes with alcohol, so you could say that, in this regard, Berluti is far superior to our shoes.
     
  13. Naturlaut II

    Naturlaut II Senior member

    Messages:
    488
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Ron, I think deep inside we (by that I mean us on this forum) agree that Berluti is over-priced for what they sell, but as consumers, we are certainly not cured from their marketing. I admire the design value, and what I do is that I take in the aesthetic elements and commission bespoke shoes from other makers. You are absolutely right about their construction, whether blake or Africa or Norvegese or whatever pretty names they come up with, these are no better or worse than other decent Italian makers. The only thing that I am really not okay with is the leather they use. The leather is not built to last, but to impress, and that's what we buy into. If only they could use something other than the Venezia leather.
     
  14. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    16,118
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    In the finishing? Or the work?

    I was inquiring about the finishing, but I enjoyed your other response just as well. Hope I haven't gotten you into hot water here. [​IMG]

    I have to say, it sounds like you have a very fun job, though I'm sure there are a lot of headaches.
     
  15. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,384
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    The wild and the pure.
    My .02...

    Other than the one loafer (Andy?), Berluti shoes are ugly, badly made, overpriced and tacky. YMMV.
     
  16. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

    Messages:
    26,133
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    FOLKESTONE
    My nationality has never prevented me from having a critical outlook on the products sold by my fellow countrymen....
    Criticism is always useful if it is done in a constructive and positive maneer...
    I'm always amused in England on how much anything slighty British or even more English is becoming over-hyped such as TVR , British Airways ,Tim Henman or the Rover 75 and so many others,even the one foreign-owned and built...
    I will be maybe be thrown into the Bastille for saying this but i do think Berluti is overpriced and over-rated...[​IMG]
    French shoemakers have a great future with the upcoming generation more preoccupied by creativity and skills than PR....
    RJ MAN ,De Gaulle used to say how difficult it is to rule a country with 350 different types of cheese!!!!!
    We like to argue and to make up with a good glass of wine....
     
  17. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    I was speaking to the RTW line. I find their bespoke on par with the better bespoke offerings based on what I have seen in terms of client shoes and "cutaways" in the London store.

    Not at all. My Berlutis are among my least expensive better quality shoes and I would not let my ownership sway my opinion in any event.
     
  18. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

    Messages:
    26,133
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    FOLKESTONE
    They're really cousu Blake for the rtw collection....
    They also do not want you to spoil their beautiful glacage and patina....
    Berluti are nearly art shoes ,conceptual objects left to wander in the open display of life[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. toniok

    toniok Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    May 25, 2006

    45 minutes to 1 hour of hand rubbing each pair (the finish is not anything special....simply alcohol and time)....


    @RIDER

    Could you tell a little bit more about how precisely the patina is achieved.

    Also, I have seen on your blog that you present some small leather goods which remind me of JL's museum calf, maybe you could give us a hint about how the patina is done on these...
     
  20. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

    Messages:
    26,133
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    FOLKESTONE
    He will have to kill you after that!!!!!!
    Ma Olga will put a hit on you....
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by