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Bromley

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I should have countered my good shoes/bad experience Saint Crispin's with a pair of middle-quality, no-name brogues I bought a long time ago on a rare trip to Paris. My sneakers fell apart in the rain in the exact moment I was admiring suede brogues in a window display. I spent most of my trip budget (probably $200!) on a pair, and I must have put a painful 30 miles on them that week. Nothing special about the shoes themselves, but I look forward to any opportunity to wear them.
 

ecwy

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I don't understand how these positions are at odds with one another. I still think that people should trust the people they've hired to make them things. And that, once you receive the item, the quality of that item should be apparent. The quality of my GC shoes were pretty apparent when I received them. So was the quality of my Templeman shoes.

I'm sure a Chinese person can make technically good shoes. I just don't care for the aesthetics.
I don't think I ever said to not trust the people you hired to make things. I wouldn't place an order if I did not trust them.

I don't need to receive a pair of GC to see the problems with them. My opinion is that if you paid more attention to how shoes are made, the flaws would have been clear right from the start. I am sure you get to see at least some sample shoes in person before you place an order right? From my perspective, your statement is really arguing semantics. In any case, I hope your order gets sorted out in a satisfactory manner.

Aesthetics is determined by the person making the bespoke order. Unless the maker refuses to do something not his style. I prefer some individuality in my orders (sometimes a bit too much as well), some people like TM go for fairly classic stuff (well, he has already ran out of those styles). So I personally will judge them more on (1) technical ability, (2) get an idea of their "house style" and (3) whether it suits what I want to make.
 

clee1982

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Does shoe maker have “less house style”. I still would need their judgement call trust on getting certain proportion “magically right” (how far up should the split toe stitch go, how one curves the Adelaide facing”), and I would think that is “house style” dependent?
 

dieworkwear

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I don't need to receive a pair of GC to see the problems with them. My opinion is that if you paid more attention to how shoes are made, the flaws would have been clear right from the start. I am sure you get to see at least some sample shoes in person before you place an order right? From my perspective, your statement is really arguing semantics. In any case, I hope your order gets sorted out in a satisfactory manner.
The people who made the sample shoes aren't the same people who make your shoes, genius. I thought you knew everything about bespoke shoes?
 

DWFII

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The people who made the sample shoes aren't the same people who make your shoes, genius. I thought you knew everything about bespoke shoes?
Is this the "Bespoke Shoes" thread?

I don't speak for everyone but that's certainly not true in my shop...or in any other bespoke maker's shop that I know of. I don't even know why that would be true unless the outfit is using outworkers.
 

dieworkwear

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Is this the "Bespoke Shoes" thread?

I don't speak for everyone but that's certainly not true in my shop...or in any other bespoke maker's shop that I know of. I don't even know why that would be true unless the outfit is using outworkers.
The people who made John Lobb's samples are probably dead. Same with some of Foster's samples. This is true for many of the big houses. When you get new workers, it's not like you're going to create samples for every permutation of a set of workers.

Nicholas also uses outworkers. But he has a much smaller shop, so he relies on the same people. No reason to add any more, as he only produces a small number of shoes per year.

I've likened bespoke to going to a restaurant and I still think that's true. You can read reviews and you can do your research. But ultimately, to know whether something will work out for you, you have to go to get something. There was another person on this thread who bought GC shoes recently (can't remember his name), but his shoes turned out fine. A few friends of mine went to GC and A&S many years ago (two companies I started using something like three or four years ago). Their experiences are very different from mine. Sort of the nature of bespoke, particularly at larger companies.
 

ntempleman

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There’s some absolutely beautiful shoes in the cabinets of the big west end firms. You can go and see old Maxwells boots, Tuczek chisel toes, Codner Coombs & Dobbie derbies, New & Lingwood etc etc within a 5 minute walk of a few shops. Don’t know how well that represents what you’ll be buying though. No one who I ever made a last for back then had seen an example of my work before, or that of the other workers there at the time, but plenty of 64 stitch to the inch Wellington boots made long before I was born
 
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DWFII

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Well, with all due respect and IMO only, you seem to exist for the sole purpose of criticizing and denigrating the very people you say you admire. It's liike you want the maker to fail or to disappoint you in some way or the other.

Which is worse (more deceptive)...to claim, even if only implicitly, that the 'samples' you present, are your own or to deliberately and blatantly make statements that are objectively untrue? Or to just let the customer assume (which is another kind of dishonesty, isn't it?) I'm not sure.

I am not sure that if you present work that was done by anyone other than you, it can accurately be called 'yours." I certainly wouldn't see it that way, although others might...of that I am sure.

Maybe it's not even 'bespoke', in the Traditional sense. I don't know that either. But then I have to ask "what's the difference between 'bespoke' and 'made to order'?" I guess if you want to twist and dumb down the definition of 'bespoke' (as has been done)...but who are you 'bespeaking?" The dead guys?

The thing is, no matter how you, as a customer, cut it / define it every single one of the maker's actions or attitudes or presentations, nevermind the final product, is informed by his perspectives and view points about the Trade and the Traditions and the work. They are inseparable. You don't like a guy's attitude, you won't like his work.

And all of that ought...for those who are really and truly awake and interested, as well as desirous of a good result...is fundamentally there--at your finger tips, in full view of your eyes, if you but look objectively.

Even the willingness to...implicitly? / subconsciously?...deceive by presenting work that is not the work of the maker, as if it were, is there. too.
 
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DWFII

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There’s some absolutely beautiful shoes in the cabinets of the big west end firms. You can go and see old Maxwells boots, Tuczek chisel toes, Codner Coombs & Dobbie derbies, New & Lingwood etc etc within a 5 minute walk of a few shops. Don’t know how well that represents what you’ll be buying though. No one who I ever made a last for back then had seen an example of my work before, or that of the other workers there at the time, but plenty of 64 stitch to the inch Wellington boots made long before I was born
Not sure that's the same thing although I guess it could fall under the heading of assumptive or implicit deception. But what you're talking about is more like recorded history. A museum of all that has gone before.

As you imply it doesn't really represent the level of work being done in the contemporary workshop but I don't think anyone would claim it did.
 

DWFII

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Was that aimed at me or dww?

At dww, if anyone. I can't speak for you or dww, all I can do is speak for myself and offer observations that might clarify what any one of us is saying simply by offering another 'informed' perspective.

If nothing else, I have too much respect for you--you actually do the work, you actually know what you're talking about,

And, in general, I suspect we agree on most everything--the important things at the very least.

I suppose I should do the 'mention' or the quote thing...but no one else does.
 
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dieworkwear

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Well, with all due respect and IMO only, you seem to exist for the sole purpose of criticizing and denigrating the very people you say you admire. It's liike you want the maker to fail or to disappoint you in some way or the other.
I don't know if this is directed at me. I have no attachment to bespoke makers or, frankly, even the industry. If someone does bad work, I'm perfectly fine with saying they do bad work. I've also said on numerous occasions that most bespoke is terrible. When things go well, and if you happen to appreciate the craft, then nothing else really compares. But the field is very uneven and it's often over-romanticized.

I've also said that I think your personal identity as a bespoke maker clouds your ability to see the industry or even many houses correctly. I think you take criticisms about bespoke personally, even if it's not about your shoes.
 

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