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  1. #26
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    quote:Originally posted by bwep

    I have a difficult time ranking and appreciate jcusey's list. That said, Roger's opinion is very close to my own. I own many of the shoemakers on his list and wholeheartedly agree. I believe Bontoni to be in the list and Tramezza line from Ferragamo. Zegna shoes are of the Tramezza variety by Ferragamo in a joint venture. The rest of Ferragamo's lines are as Thinman suggests, dreck. I think Mantelassi's are my favorites.

    "...always aspire to live simply and elegantly." - Madeleine Finn
    bwep, I keep scouring the outlet stores looking for Mantellassi's, as they are reportedly excellent shoes. I once saw them in the NMLC in Grapevine Mills, but I was short of cash and didn't ask if they had my size. I'd really like one of their split toe Norwegians. Maybe Lance will offer one in my size someday...

    Best regards,
    thinman

  2. #27

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    quote:Originally posted by thinman

    quote:Originally posted by bwep

    I have a difficult time ranking and appreciate jcusey's list. That said, Roger's opinion is very close to my own. I own many of the shoemakers on his list and wholeheartedly agree. I believe Bontoni to be in the list and Tramezza line from Ferragamo. Zegna shoes are of the Tramezza variety by Ferragamo in a joint venture. The rest of Ferragamo's lines are as Thinman suggests, dreck. I think Mantelassi's are my favorites.

    "...always aspire to live simply and elegantly." - Madeleine Finn
    bwep, I keep scouring the outlet stores looking for Mantellassi's, as they are reportedly excellent shoes. I once saw them in the NMLC in Grapevine Mills, but I was short of cash and didn't ask if they had my size. I'd really like one of their split toe Norwegians. Maybe Lance will offer one in my size someday...

    Best regards,
    thinman
    The top-tier Mantellassi's are about as nice as it gets for RTW Italian shoes.

    koji

    http://www.whitekeys.com/index.php?o...id=2&Itemid=43

  3. #28
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    May 25th, 2005
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    quote:Originally posted by FMINUS

    quote:Originally posted by EL72

    Speaking of Tramezzas, I am interested in some styles I have seen on eBay and wonder about the sizing. I am told they are quite narrow and come in B - D - EE widths and that I should go with EE if I usually need a 9.5e. Is this true? What about length? Will a 9.5EE be a good fit or should I go with a 10? Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks

    EL
    Most Ferragamos E sizing is EE. So go for the EE. SOME ferragamos are very narrow, but some are not it just depends on the shoe.

    Signed, F-
    How about the Nostro (wholecut in suede)? Daniely (captoe bal)? or Merald 2 (perf captoe monk)?

    Any idea on how those Tramezzas are sized? Very narrow last...? Thanks

    EL

  4. #29
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    January 9th, 2006
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    Daniely and Merald2 are a tad more rounded and wide while Nostro is a bit narrower. But they are not as narrow as the Canary Last.

    You should be fine with an EE with all 3 of those shoes. Just beware of the Canary and Charlie Lasts offered by Ferragamo which are EXTREMELY narrow.

    Signed, F-

  5. #30
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    February 19th, 2004
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    Is > $2,400. RTW Lattanzis worth it, when with a few more Franklins bespoke can be had? Just my 0.02[8D]
    Last edited by charle22; May 13th, 2006 at 13:25.

  6. #31
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    May 25th, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMINUS
    Daniely and Merald2 are a tad more rounded and wide while Nostro is a bit narrower. But they are not as narrow as the Canary Last.

    You should be fine with an EE with all 3 of those shoes. Just beware of the Canary and Charlie Lasts offered by Ferragamo which are EXTREMELY narrow.

    Signed, F-

    Thanks F. I appreciate the info.

    EL

  7. #32
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    April 17th, 2005
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    Thinman

    Those split toe Norwegian's by Mantellassi are awsome!! Very unique and can easily be dressed up or down. I am a big fan of bluchers to begin with, but these are special. I am told through very good sources that they are Nolan Ryan's personal favorite shoes. Not that that should matter, but I am a baseball freak. My 5 yo just completed his first T-ball game and actually had a clue. One for one, one run scored and two put outs while playing shortstop. They won 18 to 4. Actually they batted around the lineup (12 to 14 kids) and kept having to get back out on the field with the 5 run rule.
    measure twice, cut once...

  8. #33

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    Found this thread doing some research on what you guys have to say about suedes...thought it was worth bringing back up.

    Really, it's almost impossible to 'rank' Italian shoe manufacturers as the production of just about every plant is extremely flexible. In addition, many models (of just about every brand I can think of) are made in other plants that might have a specific type of work that a buyer/store details. Also, despite the fact that 'cottage' work has been outlawed by the EU, this practise continues, and is critical to the survival of many factories. With Italy, you need to judge the shoe, not the label. For example, we (Martegani) can make the same pattern from Good to Excellent, depending on what the store/customer wants to invest. Take a plain penny strap...it can be detailed with a simple machine stitched vamp, on a simple single sole, Blake construction, basic insole in a basic calf with no ironing, and sell here, fairly, for around $275. It will last a few years and, for most, be a good investment. You can take the same pattern, hand-stitch the vamp, use a heavy Blake/Rapid construction (4mm mid-sole + 5mm outsole), a nice 2mm perforated leather insole and use our best upper leathers (called Iron) which are all analine dyed by hand in the factory and heavily ironed before finishing and sell here, fairly, for $500. These will last as long as you care for them, and will exceed, IMO, the investment. Same factory, different investment of time/materials, different shoes.

    With some brands, the dependence on sub-contract work can create a large gap in quality levels from collection to collection. Sometimes this is intentional, sometimes not. The current economics of the industry do not allow, for most, the option of making one 'style' of work under one roof and remaining profitable. Only the smallest 'workshops' can do this....Lattanzi, for example, and a tight production like this requires at least a 30% premium.

    The English have it even more difficult. The problem there, however, is not the demands of production, as they all stick with basically the same cat in a different bag, but the demands of Labor...fewer and fewer workers means more and more contract work - 'an incestuous bunch' is how the agent for an English brand, mentioned here at least 10 times a day, described the Northampton manufacturers over lunch recently.

    Some of the more dependable Italians:

    Branchini
    Artioli
    Lattanzi
    Alexander Nicolette
    Speroni
    Gravati
    Walles
    Pino Giardini
    Tanino Crisci
    Martegani, of course

    Actually, there are many, many great Italian shoes no one hear has ever heard of....
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  9. #34
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    February 15th, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT3
    Don't even go close to Ferragamo. I have had mine for about 4 months and the leather is tearing my flesh while the sole develops small holes to expose some sort of black foamy substance. Piece of s**t... I am glad I only payed $130 at the Rack, probably $130 too many.

    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. - F. M. Hubbard
    Is the shoe from their "Studio" line? This is their lowest "entry level" line and yes, some of these shoes leave alot to be desired. Of the 6 pair of Ferragamos I have, only one is a Studio. They are going on a year old and have actually held up well and are fairly comfortable.

    The Tramezza's on the other hand are wonderful!
    You're Nobody til Somebody Loves You...

  10. #35
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    I love my Tramezzas and they are my Italian shoe of choice (I have the Fervido bit loafer and the Merald2 monk). They have excellent construction and just the right amount of flair in their styling. In fact, now that my shoe collection has gotten kind of big, I'm planning on making all my future shoe purchases Edward Green during the sales and Tramezza from ebay and the SF outlet.
    My name is Sue. How do you do? Now you're gonna die.

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  12. #36
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    For all the flak that Ferragamo gets in these fora, I have three pairs of Ferragamo rubber-soled bluchers, two of which I have had for six years, the other for three years. I have always found them thoroughly satisfactory shoes and rotate them interchangeably with my A-Es.

    On the other hand, I was looking at a pair of vaunted Tramezzas. They looked very flimsy and insubstantial to me, as do the lower-priced Santonis. However, perhaps because I am a large man, I have a strong preference for sturdy-looking shoes, which rules out a large percentage of Italian shoes.

  13. #37
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    June 23rd, 2005
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    Default Tods

    Any word on the relative quality of Tods leather- and rubber-soled shoes (basically shoes other than their driving mocs)?

  14. #38
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    February 12th, 2006
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    I have no experience with them, but a well turned out colleague swears by Tanino Crisci.
    -- Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance.

  15. #39
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    September 29th, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by rider
    Found this thread doing some research on what you guys have to say about suedes...thought it was worth bringing back up.

    Really, it's almost impossible to 'rank' Italian shoe manufacturers as the production of just about every plant is extremely flexible. In addition, many models (of just about every brand I can think of) are made in other plants that might have a specific type of work that a buyer/store details. Also, despite the fact that 'cottage' work has been outlawed by the EU, this practise continues, and is critical to the survival of many factories. With Italy, you need to judge the shoe, not the label. For example, we (Martegani) can make the same pattern from Good to Excellent, depending on what the store/customer wants to invest. Take a plain penny strap...it can be detailed with a simple machine stitched vamp, on a simple single sole, Blake construction, basic insole in a basic calf with no ironing, and sell here, fairly, for around $275. It will last a few years and, for most, be a good investment. You can take the same pattern, hand-stitch the vamp, use a heavy Blake/Rapid construction (4mm mid-sole + 5mm outsole), a nice 2mm perforated leather insole and use our best upper leathers (called Iron) which are all analine dyed by hand in the factory and heavily ironed before finishing and sell here, fairly, for $500. These will last as long as you care for them, and will exceed, IMO, the investment. Same factory, different investment of time/materials, different shoes.

    With some brands, the dependence on sub-contract work can create a large gap in quality levels from collection to collection. Sometimes this is intentional, sometimes not. The current economics of the industry do not allow, for most, the option of making one 'style' of work under one roof and remaining profitable. Only the smallest 'workshops' can do this....Lattanzi, for example, and a tight production like this requires at least a 30% premium.

    The English have it even more difficult. The problem there, however, is not the demands of production, as they all stick with basically the same cat in a different bag, but the demands of Labor...fewer and fewer workers means more and more contract work - 'an incestuous bunch' is how the agent for an English brand, mentioned here at least 10 times a day, described the Northampton manufacturers over lunch recently.

    Some of the more dependable Italians:

    Branchini
    Artioli
    Lattanzi
    Alexander Nicolette
    Speroni
    Gravati
    Walles
    Pino Giardini
    Tanino Crisci
    Martegani, of course

    Actually, there are many, many great Italian shoes no one hear has ever heard of....
    Most interesting and detail posting--may the Italitan makers adapt and increase.

  16. #40
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    I am a big fan of Borgioli. I don't doubt JCusey's statement about low quality shoes for other brands, but I have seen only the stuff they put their name on and I think they are splendid.

    The one I bought at Francos



    and a pair at Gentlemens Jodhpur



    Excellent quality IMHO and good value as well, though prices are creeping up. The first pair from Francos was a real find at 325.00.

    I am not a fan of peccary/ostrich etc and there some of the Italian styles leave me cold. I haven't been impressed with Moreschi. Their handmade offerings (as in the Reggiolo)



    were disappointing in person.

    It is interesting how much more conservative the Martegani line is that runs through Francos compared to what you see on Pelle Line for example.

    My preference is for a classic style with an Italian flare...and for that I like the Martegani and Borgioli presented at Francos.

  17. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrydog
    I am a big fan of Borgioli. I don't doubt JCusey's statement about low quality shoes for other brands, but I have seen only the stuff they put their name on and I think they are splendid.
    I didn't intend what I wrote about Borgioli making crap for some designer brands to be a disparagement. The shoe business is tough, and outfits like Borgioli need to take their business where it comes. If Designer X is willing to pay Borgioli to make shoes from corrected-grain leather with cardboard heel lifts, well, it's not wrong for Borgioli not to leave that money on the table. As you write, the shoes that they actually put their name on are very good to excellent, at least from what I've seen.

  18. #42

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    Borgioli does a very nice job...as the son is taking more and more contol they are greatly increasing the quality they offer. They do some very aggressive styles as Japan is their most important market. They also are the leading sample factory for a large portion of the brands in Italy....including Ferragamo, Gucci, Prada, etc. Because of this, they are one of the first factories to see what the designers are offering a year or so out, so they are always fun to talk to!
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  19. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by rider
    They also are the leading sample factory for a large portion of the brands in Italy....including Ferragamo, Gucci, Prada, etc. Because of this, they are one of the first factories to see what the designers are offering a year or so out, so they are always fun to talk to!
    What exactly does this mean, Ron? Is it that they make up samples of the designs that Ferragamo, et al., come up with? If so, do they not subsequently get the contract to actually make the runs of shoes?
    Vancouver

  20. #44
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    April 11th, 2004
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    How about De Tomaso? You know what I want...

  21. #45
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    November 27th, 2006
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    I have a Ferragamo question to put into this long-dormant thread.

    I am wearing a pair of brown suede Studio monkstraps. They fit well, they look good, and I paid very little for them. They are, however, very heavy. The soles in particular seem just heavy--there's no other way to explain it.

    Is this the cement? I am in the old cement boots here? I would not guess that glue would add a lot of weight to a shoe like this, but I can think of no explanation for the weight of these shoes. Can anyone explain?

  22. #46
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    February 27th, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by antirabbit View Post
    Has anyone ever heard of Franco of Bergamo?

    Dont Eat The Mints....
    I got 2 pairs of shoes by Bergamo a couple of years ago. I had never heard of them before buying them. They retailed for around $450 and are good quality shoes. Franco was not written on the shoe or box.
    \"Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten\" Stefano Bemer

  23. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by thinman View Post
    Try the Ferragamo Tramezza line. I own 4 pairs, which I bought at an outlet store for $359, $349, $159, and $159 (the two less expensive pairs were floor display models in perfect condition). They typically sell on ebay for something near $340, so they can be found for much less than the retail price of $600-700. The are very well made, use excellent leather, and are stylish without being over-the-top. In fact, one of my $159 pairs is a very conventional-looking brown punched captoe model.

    The Tramezza shoes have a fabric label sewn to the insole with the company name, "Salvatore Ferragamo", and the company name on a gold plate attached to the sole at the waist. "Tramezza" is embossed on the sole just forward of the gold plate. Don't discount the Tramezza shoes just because Ferragamo's other lines of shoes may be dreck.
    I'm a big fan of the Tramezza's as well. I'm not sure they still carry the line so snatch up what you can. Great looking shoes without being pretentious, also very comfortable I've found for extended periods of time.
    Last edited by satorstyle; March 22nd, 2007 at 19:30.

  24. #48
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    I can vouch for the quality of the Tramezzas. I had some MTM ones done at Neimans and they have held up very nicely and look great. Quality materials and construction from what I can tell.

  25. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieChannel View Post
    Underrated: Moreschi
    Fratelli Rossetti
    Overated Ferragamo
    maybe Santoni

    Charlie Channel-hunter
    I have to disgree with Santoni being overrated. The tan-sock FAMs are very decadent (as Brian likes to say), very well made and stands out in design yet does not step on the garish side. The orange-sock line on the other hand is fashion forward enough to be used on more social occasions. Imho, they're definitely better than any Moreshci or Rossetti I saw.
    ďThe only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor; he took my measurement anew every time he saw me, while all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit me.Ē

    George Bernard Shaw

  26. #50
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    December 24th, 2006
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    Default Italian Shoes-Some Thoughts

    I have owned many of the Italian brands discussed. I have owned dozens of Ferragamo's over the years but not the Tramezzas. Ferragamo is a large producer and there are many nice and durable models in addition to the Tramezzas. I don't care much for the horse bit loafers but I have a pair of black Ferragamo loafers that I wear with a tuxedo that I have had for almost thirty years. Generally, they are much better shoes than they get credit for on this site.

    I think Sutor Mantellassi are probably the best made Italian shoes. There are limited number of models and they can be difficult to find but they are also quite distinctive. I managed to pick up two pairs of their top of the line shoes at NMLC over the last year at very favorable prices.

    Tanino Crisci are even more difficult to find but also extremely well made and very beautiful shoes. There is a small shop somewhere in Manhattan and also a shop in Florence, Italy where I think they are made. I have only owned one pair but they were exceptional.

    I also like Fratelli Rosetti shoes but they don't seem to get much attention here. They have a NY store.

    J P Tod's are sold at am outlet in Orange County NY. I bought several pair a few years ago. They look nice for casual summer wear but they are cheaply made and will fall apart after a season. I will not probably buy these again at any price.

    I think Zegna shoes are overrated poorly styled crap for the most part. I have never owned a pair because I don't like the styling. Ditto for Prada. I don't care much for Bruno Magli either although I do have one pair that seem well made but are a bit bland style wise. I will not buy these again either.

    I have owned two pair of Testonis over the years. Very well made and very stylish. I highly recommend them.

    Ninety-nine percent of the Artioli shoes I have ever seen are hideous and I wouldn't wear them if they were given to me. That being said, my favorite shoes ever were a pair of tan Artioli loafers. They were just different enough yet were elegant and sturdy at the same time. They had a small brass bit on the side an the seams were finished with a piping that was quite different. I doubt I will ever find another pair like them.

    Anyway, those are some thoughts. I think you need to keep an open mind regarding Italian shoes. They are in general looked down upon here, but I think the better ones are as good as the (RTW) English made shoes and can usually be found at much better prices.

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