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

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

  1. Nikola

    Nikola Senior member

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    I believe that is the case. However from the point of a buyer that is completely irrelevant.
     
  2. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    I know this has been discussed many times, but may I ask you guys the best address to email the guys at Vass? I am planning a trip to Budapest in September.

    Is their workshop in the city?

    Thanks.
     
  3. laufer

    laufer Senior member

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    It is, in the heart of the city easily accessible.

    I do not know what is the best email though.
     
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  4. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    Cool, thanks.
     
  5. JSO1

    JSO1 Senior member

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    Email Mr. Kuti. I just emailed him regarding the same (a trip to Budapest).

    Here's the email address: info@vass-cipo.hu
     
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  6. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    Rock on.
    Thank you!
     
  7. DonRaphael

    DonRaphael Senior member

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    What about Saint Crispin's? They're made in Romania and costs even more than EGs.
     
  8. JSO1

    JSO1 Senior member

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    Volume and quality, I suppose. St.C makes only 1500 pairs per year. And they target the G&G/JL section of the market (read: the top), so their quality is commensurate with that goal.
     
  9. DonRaphael

    DonRaphael Senior member

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    It's true that they target the top tier market, but that doesn't legitimize the pricing given their costs, especially vis-à-vis Vass' pricing. From a production cost perspective I believe there isn't much difference between StC and Vass. Although, I believe if Vass wants to raise prices, they need to have better quality control and eliminate mistakes such as forgetting specs etc. But I'm not complaining, excellent shoes for a very cometitive price.
     
  10. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    No special insight; I just happened to be there a couple of weeks ago, asking about many of these things - first time I've been to Budapest, and went solely for shoe-related business.

    Not sure, but I do know that it's being made in England, and I think there might be more than one.

    Yep, I think he said they wanted to bring in two new ones. The thing about the U and F is that the arrangement was rather imposed upon them by Isetan: as a big customer, they had that leverage, and they asked Ugolini to go and make Vass's lasts "less ugly"! You can imagine that this dynamic is not exactly flattering to a man of Mr Vass's standing, and apparently Mr U wasn't especially respectful about the Austro-Hungarian tradition either. So I think that somehow the lasts are associated with a negative experience in their minds - even though they've sold so well internationally.

    All of Vass's own lasts have a more normal instep in my experience - along with wider standard width. The high insteps I would associate with the F, the U even more, and its Ascot lovechild the K, more still.

    Use the normal address - info@vass-cipo.hu; they will get back to you eventually. But visiting is definitely the way to go if you can.

    Hungary should celebrate the contribution Vass is making to quality tourist numbers!

    St C versus Vass might also be explained by St C's having a more expensive retail presence: I'm sure having shops in Vienna is a lot more expensive than having them in Budapest. And I have to say, St C's QC standards do seem to be exceptional.

    But for me, the more pressing point is about the Vass (or even St C) versus G&G/JL/EG: the latter are all machine-welted shoes, gemmed with glue to the insole, and therefore essentially no different to any other GY shoe in their structure, or labour cost. The lasts are lovely in many cases, the leather might be top notch, and the QC standards high. But for me the value proposition has never quite been good enough, and I can say honestly that I've never paid more for a GY shoe than I would for Vass - the most expensive being some AE shell and some C&J, on special offer.

    I think St Crispin's are something of a middle way. Vass have their quirks, but remain great value for me. There will be other options, and I intend to arrange one personally by this time next year. ;)
     
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  11. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    SC is selling through distributors/trunk shows, with shoes constructed in much finer quality compare to Vass.

    Also, they do cater much more to their customers via tons of trunk shows world wide, which warrants part of the high price.

    Vass, on the other hand, is still selling to Japan primarily. Their quality isn't as high as some of the other hand welted guys costing ~$1,000.

    Good shoes. Price is great for the quality but doesn't mean they could easily increase the price. NMWA or Ascot shoes are selling it at ~$800+ already.
     
  12. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    Vass is hand welted and hand stiched and SC is only hand welted.

    Meermin (both lines), Carmina and Vass are best value for shoes IMO. Although I have no Meermin and many others GYW shoes.

    Spanish GYW shoes (I will only mentión Berwick, Meermin, Carmina, Lottusse.... ) are top notch compare to english/americans for less than 300-350 euros.

    The value proposition of Mimo is quite clever.

    Just my two cents.
     
  13. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Meermin QC is meh. Vass is slightly better but still not as good as higher end guys.

    Vass hand stitching is pretty crude.

    But Mimo is right. I always ask myself when I see new EG or G&G shoes: can I get the same at Vass.

    I am experimenting something with Vass.
     
  14. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    Meermin's Chinese GY shoes are what you would expect for the money. Carmina I like, a favourite in their price range. But I have just the same mental process as Chogall when I see those thousand dollar GY brands.
     
  15. sacafotos

    sacafotos Senior member

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    Add Bonafè to the list: hand-welted for under $600. Great lasts and leather quality.

    Carmina is a great value, but leather quality isn't that great; I'm especially surprised that the colors/dying of the skins seem sub par compared to other stuff I've seen.
     
  16. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    I often read where people speak of value when comparing HW shoes to GYW shoes. However I've yet to read anyone state that because a shoe is hand welted that would equate to it lasting any longer than a GYW shoe, or that it would look any better than a GYW shoe, or that it would fit any better or wear any better than a GYW shoe. So where's the value?

    It appears that the major difference is how the shoe is crafted and the effort that goes into making the shoe. An appreciation for the craftsmanship which is no small thing, but this again doesn't mean you can expect any better results. I mean gemming does not appear to occur that terribly often.
     
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  17. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    I think DWF was saying by doing the shoe in handwelt, the maker have to use better material for the insole compare to GYW.
     
  18. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Well said.
     
  19. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    +1
     
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  20. agedashidofu

    agedashidofu Senior member

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    Not taking any sides on the HW or GYW argument as I own and enjoy both.

    But none of this matters if the shoes don't fit :))
     
    3 people like this.

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