• STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

smfdoc

Distinguished Member
Joined
May 25, 2015
Messages
9,914
Reaction score
59,804
So, you have at least four pair of rare Shell that ranges from whiskey to bourbon to ravello. Damn! That is a great collection! (And I know it just a sample!)
Thanks. I let the blue shell go but I did keep a natty shell MacNeil.

26C6EFD0-8EBB-4C11-BE12-9F385079DC5C.jpeg
 

smfdoc

Distinguished Member
Joined
May 25, 2015
Messages
9,914
Reaction score
59,804

Nealjpage

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
1,311
Reaction score
3,614
You’d be shocked by some of the quality problems I’ve seen on mid and late 70’s era AE’s. The company was on the verge of collapse in the early 80’s when John Stollenwerk executed a leveraged management buyout of the Allen’s position and made AE into the globally recognized brand it is today. He also had the smarts to push AE up-market aggressively (in perceived quality) when the rest of the industry chased price-points into the ground.

However (in fairness to the Florsheim’s of the world) AE was a tiny company that didn’t have the huge legacy costs, versus the other crumbling US shoe giants. They simply weren’t configured to survive on low-volume, high-margin production. AE and Alden (along with small British makers) were perfectly situated to serve the “luxury” end of the market, whereas the giants were just to big (especially with regards to retirement liabilities, shareholder expectations, legacy footprint) to survive.

Interestingly enough, as the giants of the US shoe industry collapsed, the smart ones diversified and changed. The Melville Shoe Company (Thom McAn being their once famous main brand) is today the 260 billion dollar (in annual revenue) CVS Health (it’s literally a direct lineage).

By the way, as I’ve pontificated about many times, not every vintage shoe that’s GYW and made in the US during the 20’s - 60’s, was good. The reason we see certain brands on this thread, over and over again, is those brands used high quality materials.

Little tiny French Shriner & Urner (which was smaller than AE back in the 50’s) has surviving examples (many quite worn) from their 30-50’s heyday, that pop up on eBay and on this thread. They are beautiful, all-leather (meaning leather uppers, insole, outsole) shoes made from great materials:


In contrast, these (NOS) City Club shoes, made within a year or so or the pair above, look good (GYW, good fit and finish) but are made of garbage materials:



Look closely and you find everything is loose grain that’s heavily corrected:

The insoles are paper-board:


And everything is cost-cut to hell and back where people can’t see it:

Including using horrible bonded leather linings.

This is why so many of the once giant brands are vastly under-represented versus say Florsheim (which was made by the same parent company as City Club) - Florsheim’s were far better made, especially material-wise. Just like today, you generally got what you were willing to pay for.

</end-rambling>
So why do you think we so often see Depression-era stuff from Florsheim and Bostonian and others but never see Allen Edmonds from that era? Was it just that AE was such a tiny, almost regional, company at the time?
 

friendlygoz

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
9,069
Modded 93602s today.
96619533-DF0C-4010-96C9-DB5D2BC2E9A4.jpeg
7CAA76A7-BB1A-4E4B-BB4A-A2BB7D3FEBBF.jpeg
 

wasmisterfu

Distinguished Member
Joined
May 11, 2018
Messages
4,904
Reaction score
14,381
So why do you think we so often see Depression-era stuff from Florsheim and Bostonian and others but never see Allen Edmonds from that era? Was it just that AE was such a tiny, almost regional, company at the time?
Yeah they were very small and I suspect they were doing a lot of contract work, as you don’t really see their advertisements pop until the mid 40’s. That said, the history gets very fuzzy for AE when you go back further than the early 50’s. (Doesn’t help that the fire in 84 destroyed much of the historical record for the company.)
 

Quantum17

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
323
Reaction score
1,338
I came across this Cole Haan Imperial pair, hand lasted. I think they should be blind stitched too, but I’m not sure. Odd size 9.5B however. In case someone is interested.

 
Last edited:

wasmisterfu

Distinguished Member
Joined
May 11, 2018
Messages
4,904
Reaction score
14,381
I came across this Cole Haan Imperial pair, hand lasted. I think they should be blind stitched too, but I’m not sure. Odd size 9.5B however. In case someone is interested.

For something that carries such lofty naming, and claims of hand lasting (which can mean different things to different shoe makers) the upper workmanship is not stellar. I’d also expect, for a top-of-the-line shoe from the late 70’s, full leather linings (something you got with Florsheim Imperials and LB Sheppard’s).

The other thing that concerns me is I can’t see the outline of a welt channel for the outsole top-stitch (though it might just be carefully channeled) and that sole doesn’t really look like it’s closed channel stitched to me.

Usually, even if it’s very faint, you can see the outline of where the feather was cut and the channel underneath:




The soles on those Cole Haan’s are just too smooth, especially given the rest of the shoe doesn’t scream George Cleverley or John Lobb from an execution standpoint.
 

friendlygoz

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
9,069

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

Threads of Apollo Leather Jackets: Which 2-tone colourway do you like the best?

  • Blue

  • Red

  • Gold

  • All of the Above

  • None of the Above


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
460,025
Messages
9,981,637
Members
207,874
Latest member
honhisaktaho
Top