Thursday, September 21, 2006

thoughts from a trunk show

Note from Steve: I apologize in advance for geeking out on this post. You can see all the shoes mentioned at Allen-Edmonds.

I had a chance to meet a representative from the Allen-Edmonds shoe company today at Davidsons in Roanoke. He was there for a trunk show featuring AE’s fall line. I went during my lunch hour, so I didn’t have long to peruse, but I have to say, I was impressed with the selections.

I was there to see the Wilbert, which the sales rep, Drew, did not include in his selection. I still ended up ordering it, with a generous discount, but it would have been nice to have seen it in person first. Of course, after I ordered it, I get a flyer from the Burlington, NC AE outlet offering a $25 discount on factory seconds October 5-15, but that’s neither here nor there. If I’m buying first quality and supporting a local store (so that they can get more trunk shows), it’s no big deal.

I also wanted to see the Walden, but I learned that it’s being more or less phased put in favor of the new Hanover. The main difference between the two pinch penny loafers is a slightly higher vamp and amore oblique toe on the Hanover. The Hanover is also available in chili calf, which looked very slick in person. I’m undecided about the new toes, though. It looks good on the foot, but it’s a little funky when you just look at it.

Some highlights from the new collection:
-- The Delray is now available in Brogue (dark-brown) suede, which looks very nice in person
-- The Taunton is a new double-gore boot that seems to be in an R.M. Williams vein, but distinctly AE in shape. This is available in Snuff (medium-brown) suede, which seems to work pretty well for the design.

The most disappointing things I saw were the new Casual Comfort Collection styles. I know there is a market for the fashion-forward and ‘comfort’ styles in this line, but they are positively awful in person. Drew had on a pair of the Daytripper with an otherwise well chosen sportcoat and trouser combo, and they pretty much killed everything else he was wearing. I couldn’t look down.

The only thing that saves them is the quality of the leather, which is excellent, but I wouldn’t be caught dead in any of them. The look is either too Steve Madden or SAS, depending on the model. Considering you can buy either of those brands at a deep discount (and since AE doesn’t offer recrafting as an option on the Casual Comfort Collection), they would be the better deal. Either that or wait for the warehouse sale.


  1. That is a great shoe! I would definitely buy a pair.

  2. Thanks Jessie. I can't wait for them to arrive.