The Ultimate Vass (Footwear) Thread (Pictures, reviews, sizing, etc...)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by luk-cha, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    I don't have a dog in this fight, but nobody thinks it's ironic that some posters want Vass to stay the way it is (perfectly understandable) -- obscure and more affordable -- yet constantly bump the thread up with such comments? If my economics doesn't fail me -- thread visibility --> greater demand --> in order to maximize profit, the price will go up?
     


  2. SuitedDx

    SuitedDx Senior member

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    If I remember corrected Bergdorf Goodman carried a handful some time ago. Maybe a stepwise approach would be a good way, and for me, payment convenience (e.g., CC, PP) would be a great first step.

    I think trunk shows would also garnish some real experience considering fitting can be addressed during these events.
     


  3. gyasih

    gyasih Senior member

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    I like them just as they are, only wish for more payment options. Getting bigger WILL lead to something having to change, for the worse.
     


  4. Henkie

    Henkie Active Member

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    Meh. People posting on this forum already know about Vass, meaning that the increased demand of Vass from this thread gaining visibility should be marginal.
     


  5. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    People in this forum might have heard about Vass, but never bothered to buy them. I speak from personal experience -- I've heard about Vass for a long time, but have been contented with my Cleverleys, Edward Greens, C & J, Lobbs and Girlings. However, I decided to give Vass a shot (late last year) precisely because my interest was piqued after seeing Vass's growing popularity of late, that is, seeing the thread perpetually at the top of the first page.

    Meermin is a good example -- they're inundated with orders, possibly in large part because of the Meermin thread's visibility, and the surging numbers who endorse the brand. I've not seen the Meermin thread slip beyond the second page since when it gained critical mass.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013


  6. Notch

    Notch Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    I think I’m able to answer on most that has been said here, or at least I’ll give it a try.

    The changes that Vass is currently looking to make would be in last and model design. At the moment they have several lasts, bout 3 of them being very popular for international buyers (U, F and PS, but also 3636 they told me). However, there is a huge difference between the U last and the rest, and they were thinking of designing a last somewhere in the middle of the U and F, somewhere between JL 7000 and 8000 last (although I have no personal experience with these two, but looking at pictures I hope you can understand what I’m trying to say).

    This change would not effect total demand to such extent that they would face production problems or that they would have to increase prices. They increased prices about a year ago, and I don’t believe they have immediate plans for this now (except for the cordovan shoes, but that is because Horween increased their price).

    I personally agree with the creation of a better/new site, where customers can find more information about MTO shoes. This would facilitate the work of Rezso (the sales manager) immensely. I will certainly pitch this idea to them.

    At the moment, they have a limited workshop with only a small number of skilled cobblers, and are only able to produce somewhere under 3000 pair per year. I know they have plans to expand, but like most things in Hungary, it will indeed need to go slow. That is why we are not talking about opening a new store within the next few months, but rather in about 5 years or more. They recently opened a new store in Budapest and I know that they do not have plans to open a new one anytime soon.

    But any brand is always looking to grow. It is not true that growth automatically means increases prices. Prices will always increase over the years, but

    I think the main question would be: “The Vass brand is trying to grow, slowly but steadily, and why not grow in the direction their customers would want (in terms of offered styles, lasts..)?”.
     


  7. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    But when you grow, you need to cope with the increase in output and capacity, and additional overhead costs are incurred etc. The price shifts to cover costs and in order to maximize profit. Chan has increased prices exponentially over the years, as has any brand that is highly visible, and is selling to an international clientele. Think Vanda, Gordon Yao, Meermin etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013


  8. joiji

    joiji Senior member

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    I don't think they lack any offerings, style wise. They seem to be willing to change their patterns too across lasts, which is nice. Wider fittings for existing lasts maybe? Created on demand for MTO orders might be a nice idea. I know a few people dislike the fact that most shoes don't offer wider (or narrower for that matter) widths for all of their lasts.

    I don't think they need many more lasts, necessarily as they already have lasts for both casual and formal shoes, especially with the 'between U and F' which you say they are designing.
     


  9. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    I agree ^^

    Seems to me that they're not going to get, necessarily, more business from existing customers by offering a new last: after all, with eight last shapes already (that I can think of without looking) and a bespoke service too, they already have a good choice of very different styles. What's more, as they offer essentially a free made to order service, with thirty or more different leathers in stock, or anything you want to order, and will make pretty much any style you like, it's not like most Vass customers have stopped buying because they ran out of options. Usually because they ran out of money, closet space, or patience from their wife.

    So if that's the only question, the answer is "no, don't bother". If they want to sell more shoes, they are better off trrying to reach new customers. But as others have said above, for existing customers, the sense of exclusivity and even difficulty, is part of the appeal.
     


  10. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Exclusivity, ye, but I'm not sure difficulty is appealing in any broad sense. I'd likely own more pairs of Vass shoes, not fewer, if they were easier to purchase.
     


  11. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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  12. JPHardy

    JPHardy Senior member

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    Made to Order Paris ; http://madetoorderparis.com/eng/ will became exclusive retailer for Vass in France (in April).

    This might provide some insights to the questions being asked here, or not.
     


  13. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    They are exclusive because they only have the present capacity to produce x number of pairs per year. I don't see how you make a company grow by making the product difficult to purchase. And I don't view that difficulty as a positive or appealing aspect of the ownership experience. If it were easier, I'd bemore inclined to purchase from them directly.
     


  14. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    Vass needs the following:

    1) easier way to pay online - paypal or credit card
    2) easier way to order MTO online - online ordering system
    3) wide and narrow widths for existing lasts
    4) new lasts are not needed - isn't the K last supposed to be in between the U and F?
    5) make sure the 3 piece trees are available. hollow trees would be nice also

    expanding to other countries and partnering with the US will cause much higher prices and for the higher prices, EG is better in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013


  15. usctrojans31

    usctrojans31 Senior member

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    Mimo - one thing that I highly disagree with your otherwise correct post is the allure of the physical location. For high end, the store is the cathedral to the brand. How many people on here make a specific stop to Northampton when visiting the UK? When I went to Budapest over the summer, I had two places that I wanted to see: one was Vass.
     


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