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

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

  1. nmprisons

    nmprisons Senior member

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    This +1000.

    today i'm wearing my Vass Old English 2, U-Last in antique cognac. aportnoy helped me with sizing and care. though my collection remains meager, my feet (if not my wallet) are forever in his debt.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013


  2. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Vass is a shoe manufacturer that is in the business of taking large OEM orders while producing MTO/RTW shoes for its own stores at the same time. It is not like a workshop that takes one-off orders only.

    And as with all manufacturing business, manual labor or not, variability in quality is not only a byproduct of hand work but also a result of cost optimization.

    Vass produces good shoes. But they are not tuning for top notch QC like other manufacturers producing shoes for a higher retail price.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013


  3. aportnoy

    aportnoy Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Care to compare the annual output of Vass vs. EG or Lobb? My guess is that it's 10:1 or greater. Apples and oranges and if you don't understand that, so be it.
     


  4. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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  5. BeSpiffington

    BeSpiffington Senior member

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    Gentlemen, I have relished in the opinionated discussion this morning. Here's my two cents. In the early part of the twentieth century a good handmade suit could be had for the price of a one ounce United States gold piece. Today that same gold coin will buy you the same handmade suit of cloths. Most men are not like the aficionados of fine mens shoes who follow this thread, and would never spend more than $100, let alone $1000 and up, on a pair of shoes. I agree with aportnoy in that we are talking apples and oranges when you start to mention Vass and John Lobb in the same sentence. If you want a beautifully fitting and finished pair of handmade shoes your going to need at least a couple pieces of gold, if not more. Laszlo Vass even mentions JL in his own book as being a maker of some very fine shoes. Manufacturing techniques have changed and improved since Caesar went to the Forum to be crowned King. But if you want to have some shoes made essentially the same way as they were when Martin Luther was tagging church doors Vass shoes are a pretty good buy. The best shoes that money can buy are the ones that fit your feet and that you would wear any where.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013


  6. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    you have excellent attention to detail.
     


  7. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    JL Northampton produces about 20,000 per year. JL Paris bespoke produces less than 2,000 per year and Saint Crispins produces about 1,200 per year. No idea about EG, but C&J produces ~100,000 and Church's is at ~700,000. Crude data but the magnitude is correct.

    For some reason I don't think Vass produces less than JL Paris bespoke workshop if Vass is capable of taking Isetan's OEM orders.

    Again, it's fine to fantasize Vass as an artisanal workshop but it is in the shoe manufacturing business. And they do make good shoes for the price.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013


  8. aportnoy

    aportnoy Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Ok, we agree I have no idea what you are talking about.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013


  9. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    ante up Aportnoy
     


  10. aportnoy

    aportnoy Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    ~3x
     


  11. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    ^^^ Yowza! Certainly sounds like you have an ample frame of reference for discussing comparative quality.
     


  12. n-domino

    n-domino Senior member

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    Well….I just received my suede chukkas on the F-last. I took the same size in these as I did in my theresianer high boots on the F-last. These, however, fit substantially bigger. I compared them to the high boots and there is a slight difference in length. Hopefully Mr. Kuti will let me know what he thinks but these are probably going back. [​IMG]

    Now I'll have to wait another 5 or so weeks. Oh well.
     


  13. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

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    I think all the brands referred here are in shoe manufacturing business and is run as a business. What has been referred to as finishing issues are idiosyncrasies expected from a hand made operation and to some there in lies the beauty.
    I tend to think holistically and when it comes to price to value ratio Vass will be hard to beat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013


  14. venividivicibj

    venividivicibj Senior member

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    I think the problem people have here is one of standards. 'Good' for chogall and other aficionados (who buy bespoke lobb and EG regularly) is exceptional to others.

    Plus, vass which is 600-700 for calfskin vs lobb and eg at 1200+++. Expectations have to be different.
     


  15. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Quote:Which is why I asked if vass could reasonably be described as "mediocre" in the RTW context. For me, the answer to that question is "no". Others are welcome to think differently.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013


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