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The high end Chinese Shoe Thread

Noblekostas

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I finished my written review of the Acme pair.

overall excellent quality and one of the best shoes in my collection. Curious to see how they age. The detail is exceptional and it’s a joy how I can spot the actual “made by hand” in certain areas after taking shoemaking now. It’s a pricey shoe but if you are in that ballpark I can highly recommend them alongside Stefano Bemer and Meccariello. Very refined shoes, just hope they find their own signature style eventually more.

2EB8890C-F96A-4F57-878E-459522111197.jpeg
 

prof.contingency

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mp1.jpeg
mp2.jpeg
A pair of Premium MTO Black Chelsea Boots from Yearn Shoemaker that we made up for a VIP client. The initials were a special request, and we had it done by Dan Watkins, here, in the UK.

He has a popular Youtube channel, and these exact shoes can be seen here:
 

St1X

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Don't think I ever shared photos of these here. My pair of MTM Blazing Wonders that I received last year, did a review on them now for those who are interested to see and read more, but below a bunch of photos:

View attachment 1822783

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My experience buying thing from China is that they slap a ridiculously low price on a customs declaration, so the customers would avoid fees & taxes. Was it the case with BW? Otherwise 5000 SEK will be a subject to 12% customs fees on goods from China and then 25% VAT on top of that + customs brokerage fees (75-150 sek), which quickly turns into +40% in fees and taxes here, in Sweden.
This coupled together with return & exchange problems turns me away from any high end Chinese brands. Meccariello shoes look like a better buy
 

ajay199127

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I have both meccariello and BW. So let me clarify.

Helen from BW will do any design you throw at her, and if it gets too wild, all she does is charge a new pattern fee of 50 USD. She’s got 4 stock last, which are excellent, primarily the PU & HUANG. Refer to octenths lasts as they are similar to what she has.

BW can make a value declaration of <100, negating all your tax and customs concerns.

As impressive as meccariello, after owing 5 pairs and 6th currently under commission, if you want absolute creative freedom, last modifications and quick turnaround and 80% the level of Antonio in terms of construction at 50/60% the cost, Helen is the real deal. I can speculate that she is probably the maker behind graziat, if you look at the pictures they both post. Of course, BW never stated this.

If you are concerned about leather quality, I have the same concern because I have never had a box calf from Helen. However, my current MTM is box calf in her premium range with an upcharge for a better leather cut and an entirely hand-stitched outsole.

If you are still worried, commission a suede or hatch or Utah Haas, and you will be delighted with BW




My experience buying thing from China is that they slap a ridiculously low price on a customs declaration, so the customers would avoid fees & taxes. Was it the case with BW? Otherwise 5000 SEK will be a subject to 12% customs fees on goods from China and then 25% VAT on top of that + customs brokerage fees (75-150 sek), which quickly turns into +40% in fees and taxes here, in Sweden.
This coupled together with return & exchange problems turns me away from any high end Chinese brands. Meccariello shoes look like a better buy
 
Last edited:

St1X

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I have both meccariello and BW. So let me clarify.

Helen from BW will do any design you throw at her and if it gets too wild, all she does is charge a new pattern fee of 50USD. She’s got 4 stock last and they are amazing especially the PU & HUANG, refer to octenths lasts as they are similar to what she has.

BW can do a value declaration of <100 negating all your tax and customs concern.

As amazing as meccariello after owing 5 pairs and 6th currently under commission, if you want absolute creative freedom, last modifications and quick turn around and 80% the level of Antonio in terms of construction at 50/60% the cost, Helen is the real deal. I can speculate that she is probably the maker behind graziat, if you look at the pictures they both post. Ofcourse, BW never stated this.

If you are concerned about the quality of leather, I have the same concern too, because I have never had box calf from Helen, though my current MTM is box calf in her premium range with an upcharge for better cut of leather and fully hand stitched outsole.

If you are still worried, commission a suede or hatch or utah haas and you will be very pleased with BW
I am not concerned about the quality of shoes, I am concerned by taxes in my country that are a total rip off
 

ajay199127

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I am not concerned about the quality of shoes, I am concerned by taxes in my country that are a total rip off
Your country can tax only the value declared, if it’s sent as a gift/repaired shoe. Then it’s probably zero.

I live in angola and anything valued about 500USD has jaw dropping taxation and possibility to disappear given the corruption, so my pair was declared at 50USD as a repair pair.
 

Adhazem

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My experience has been very positive with Helen. I agree with everything Ajay said. The sky is the limit in terms of design. I had design a boot for me, and she advises on lasts and fitment. It does get quite a bit pricier when you do the hand stitched line and a bunch of add ons but you are getting a very nice high end pair of footwear. As Jesper mentioned in his article it's not ACME or Stefano Bemer but you're also paying between 30-50% the price of those top makers.
 

ajay199127

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My experience buying thing from China is that they slap a ridiculously low price on a customs declaration, so the customers would avoid fees & taxes. Was it the case with BW? Otherwise 5000 SEK will be a subject to 12% customs fees on goods from China and then 25% VAT on top of that + customs brokerage fees (75-150 sek), which quickly turns into +40% in fees and taxes here, in Sweden.
This coupled together with return & exchange problems turns me away from any high end Chinese brands. Meccariello shoes look like a better buy
Dont forget you have 20% Vat for EU that the maker will impose of its Antonio.

Not bashing or breaking the system of European makers, but this is a Chinese thread forum so the priority are The Chinese makers.
 

ajay199127

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I have both meccariello and BW. So let me clarify.

Helen from BW will do any design you throw at her, and if it gets too wild, all she does is charge a new pattern fee of 50 USD. She’s got 4 stock last, which are excellent, primarily the PU & HUANG. Refer to octenths lasts as they are similar to what she has.

BW can make a value declaration of <100, negating all your tax and customs concerns.

As impressive as meccariello, after owing 5 pairs and 6th currently under commission, if you want absolute creative freedom, last modifications and quick turnaround and 80% the level of Antonio in terms of construction at 50/60% the cost, Helen is the real deal. I can speculate that she is probably the maker behind graziat, if you look at the pictures they both post. Of course, BW never stated this.

If you are concerned about leather quality, I have the same concern because I have never had a box calf from Helen. However, my current MTM is box calf in her premium range with an upcharge for a better leather cut and an entirely hand-stitched outsole.

If you are still worried, commission a suede or hatch or Utah Haas and you will be delighted with BW
PS: When I say Antonio, I mean his Argentum line and the waist closing is blind on his AM Argentum compared to BW which has visible stitching.
 

Psyko

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So how was it: BW is Oct.Tenth?

Also, @ajay199127 : did BW have those Vibram topies, or were they added afterwards?
 

ajay199127

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So how was it: BW is Oct.Tenth?

Also, @ajay199127: did BW have those Vibram topies, or were they added afterwards?
BW and Oct are different factories, though Helen was with Oct10 before the inception of BW. (I might be wrong about the details @j ingevaldsson could shed some light, if he wishes to do so)

The topies were installed during the commission by Helen. She didn't have it but got it because I insisted. It might sound silly, but I have OCD for explosion & Crespino topies.
 

Adhazem

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BW and Oct are different factories, though Helen was with Oct10 before the inception of BW. (I might be wrong about the details @j ingevaldsson could shed some light, if he wishes to do so)

The topies were installed during the commission by Helen. She didn't have it but got it because I insisted. It might sound silly, but I have OCD for explosion & Crespino topies.
BW makes yeossal though. I think anyway. Same shoe trees. Same aesthetic. Same shoe bags.

Here’s my MTM boot:

35D5465E-5F80-4604-88F4-1B1EDBDF4147.jpeg
9ED2566D-F40D-4724-937F-AB67C32472EE.jpeg

BA1486C2-4FE4-4B79-9FA8-5BF7A5B85024.jpeg
 

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