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ecwy

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You said that I should have checked out their samples. I clarified that their samples aren't made by the same people who make shoes. When you work with a big company, they bring samples that were made ages ago. This seems to be news to you.

I think we have a difference of opinion about how to choose a shoemaker (and I suppose relatedly, a tailor). I think of it as being similar to choosing a restaurant. If you're interested in trying something out, you go try it. If you don't like something, then don't go back. I did about as much research as I was willing to do -- I asked maybe about three or four people I know who own and wear Clevs. I also read the Foo thread.

What do you think people can do? Google "Cleveley shit shoes?" "Cleverley Yelp?" There's nothing technically wrong with Clev if your shoes go down the right "production path." The problem isn't about the construction, it's about the management.

I think it helps to have the cutter or last maker at the fitting. But in my experience buying bespoke clothes, I've also found there are important exceptions to that rule. My best trousers are from a company where I never see the cutter, I only see the fitter. I think ultimately, the quality of the product depends on the people running the company.

And just because someone online has one poor experience doesn't mean you'll have a poor experience (vice versa with good experiences). Again, in this very thread, someone earlier posted a pair of GC shoes that looked perfectly fine. My experience was bad. I would not discount that person's positive experience.

You seem to think that people should become internet experts before buying shoes. This seems totally bizarre to me. If I thought that anyone needs to become a Shoe Scientist or a Suit Scientist before buying bespoke clothes, I can't imagine recommending shoemakers or tailors to anyone.

I think that people should read about this stuff if they enjoy it, and use it as a way to better enjoy things they own. But ultimately, choosing a shoemaker or tailor is a lot like choosing a restaurant. If you're interested in trying something, then go try it. If your life is going to be ruined by a bespoke purchase, and you need to spend countless hours reading about this stuff to make sure your order goes perfectly right, then you might be better off with ready-to-wear.

My impression is that you're just mad because I said earlier that red shoes with purple soles are tacky, and that Chinese companies seem to serve an Instagram crowd. Since you wear blue hippo hiking boots and red alligator Museum calf wholecuts, you took umbrage, so jumped on my comment about Chinese makers. I still don't understand guys who are such shoe nerds, but buy such God awful looking shoes.
Please try harder with the insults. Not sure why you are so upset. I certainly couldn't care less. We can respectfully disagree on how best to approach bespoke like adults yet you seem to want to fling insults lol.

Seems like you really like to dig through people's pictures to find something you can latch on to throw personal insults at them. You did the same with DWF on the nonsense discussion about posing shoes.

I am not from China nor do I care about Chinese makers. I don't even have a single pair of Chinese made shoes.

The hiking boots are actually navy elephant from ZB and I really like them. And I don't own any pair of alligator shoes so you really need to try harder.

God awful shoes are ok, god awful character.. not so much.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Please try harder with the insults. Not sure why you are so upset. I certainly couldn't care less. We can respectfully disagree on how best to approach bespoke like adults yet you seem to want to fling insults lol.

Seems like you really like to dig through people's pictures to find something you can latch on to throw personal insults at them. You did the same with DWF on the nonsense discussion about posing shoes.

I am not from China nor do I care about Chinese makers. I don't even have a single pair of Chinese made shoes.

The hiking boots are actually navy elephant from ZB and I really like them. And I don't own any pair of alligator shoes so you really need to try harder.

God awful shoes are ok, god awful character.. not so much.
I literally didn't even know you owned blue hippo hiking boots. The words were randomly combined togehter to represent the kind of weird mishmash of styles I've seen appear on Instagram. But kind of amazing to me that you actually own a pair.
 

DWFII

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Perhaps I have said it enough times (but it bears repeating) that like @ecwy I don't like or care about the gossip and ad hominem vilification...nor even of firms that I may not like. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you criticize.

Beyond that, I suspect the bespoke departments of these major cachet makers are just a sop to customers who feel (or eventually realize) that they are paying for more than they are getting, in terms of quality, when they buy RTW. With, perhaps, an added motive of so dominating the market that any sense of what real bespoke quality is disappears. It's as simple as "jack of all trades"...

GYW and large scale manufacturing are fundamentally at odds with bespoke. The factory is geared up to mass produce--to focus attention on quantity rather than quality. I don't believe that approach is, or can be, philosophically compatible or comparable with the small bespoke workshop or maker who, if by necessity alone, focuses on quality. If you order a bespoke three piece suit from a person whose specialty / focus / Trade is making bespoke kilts, for instance...well, "a fool and his money...."
 
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patrickBOOTH

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I think all of you guys overthink commissioning bespoke shoes. When your only criteria is commissioning shoes from the most attractive Cordwainer you will never be disappointed.
 

daizawaguy

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On this subject, what is the connection between a shoe maker`s shoes and the shoes he wears? Is this purely a random phenomenon?
 

dopey

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I don't know how this would work at big houses. I agree there's a huge gap between the quality of the sample shoes and (some) of the new shoes. But how would a large firm even "accurately" represent the people who will work on your shoes? Lobb has multiple last makers. Would you create a separate case of samples for each last maker? And what about permutations between last maker, closers, and bottom makers?

The same thing happens at bespoke tailoring firms. At a larger tailoring house, you may have a revolving door of workers. Cutters go between houses. If you see an A&S coat on someone, that coat may have been made by people who are now dead or have moved on to new firms. A company may have created a block pattern in replacement, which may not even have much of a connection to older garments.

It would be nice to be able to get a better sense of what you'll get. But I think ultimately, you still won't know until you try something out. I've known people who go a tailoring house and had a great experience. Someone else goes to the shop and gets something terrible. I think uncertainty is inherent in the bespoke process.

For a larger firm, where there are many more workers and a revolving door of employees, I'm not sure how they could create "accurate" samples. And in any case, presumably in the past, this was still an issue. If we romanticize the old world of bespoke -- which was much more concentrated in larger firms -- how did people see sample shoes back in the day?

The fundamental problem seems to be that some firms are poorly run. Presumably, if they kept up quality control, then you wouldn't have these problems in the first place. A client at Lobb wouldn't have to worry if they're assigned to a bad last maker or a good last maker. A client at GC wouldn't have to worry if his or her order goes down the wrong "production path." The companies that have these problems in the first place have them because it starts at the management level. Introducing "accurate" samples seems like it would just introduce new problems. What message would that communicate to customers? "Would you like your shoes to be made by our good last makers or our bad last maker? Do you want your shoes to look like a blob or a shoe? Would you like your shoes to rock back and forth?"

Seems like the best way for this to be addressed is to change management or simply have more information on the market. The worst of this can be avoided if people speak candidly about their bespoke experiences.
One of my favorite things about going to Raphael's shop was looking through the things on his racks that were in process and getting ideas, saying "make something like this for me", etc. With a working tailor, you visit on site, you are seeing both style and design ideas as well as workmanship. With traveling bespoke shoe samples, you can really only get design ideas. Some traveling tailors are set up so you can see other customer's stuff, some are not. The former is much better, in my opinion. Presumably, you can do the same with traveling bespoke shoemakers.
 

clee1982

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I don't know if it's the right approach (as I don't have any bespoke shoes yet, so just a hypothesis), my assumption has been if going to the right bespoke guy then "fit" should be right (by reading review...), so I just go through IG page to see if the aesthetic click...
 

Texasmade

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I don't know if it's the right approach (as I don't have any bespoke shoes yet, so just a hypothesis), my assumption has been if going to the right bespoke guy then "fit" should be right (by reading review...), so I just go through IG page to see if the aesthetic click...
Makers get fit wrong all the time. It's how they handle it that matters. I mentioned my experience with JLP where they remade them, Kirby Allison mentioned how Dominic Casey remade his shoes and used the original shoes as display samples, DWW said GC wanted him to pay $1000 or whatever it was for the shoes that didn't fit while they remade him another pair.
 

clee1982

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well, hopefully customer service gets flush out as part of the review...
 

dan'l

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^ I‘m crossing my fingers that you wear Crocs while carving lasts.
 

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