thoughts from an AE trunk show

StevenRocks

Super Member
I had a chance to meet a representative from Allen-Edmonds today at Davidsons in Roanoke, VA. 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.
 

kabert

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
In contrast to Alden, which I don't think has any particularly controversial shoes in its line-up, AE has some that are downright ugly. Who is in the focus groups telling AE what to make!?
 

Teacher

Honors Member
In contrast to Alden, which I don't think has any particularly controversial shoes in its line-up, AE has some that are downright ugly. Who is in the focus groups telling AE what to make!?

AE casts a broader net. Many of those styles are positive gambles, and as in gambling, some win and some don't. AE does, however, make most of their money on the more traditional styles overall (see the annual sales ranking charts that list best-sellers by style and color).
 

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
It can be found in the "Shoe Wrap," which is the newsletter A-E sends to dealers. It is posted in the "News Room" portion of the A-E website.

Anent A-E's styles, yes, they do present a variety of styles. Briefly put, if you like the style, buy it, if you don't, pass on it. That's what I do. It has never seemed sufficient reason to condemn the whole product line.
 

Teacher

Honors Member
JLibourel said:
Anent A-E's styles, yes, they do present a variety of styles. Briefly put, if you like the style, buy it, if you don't, pass on it. That's what I do. It has never seemed sufficient reason to condemn the whole product line.

Hmmm...that's very well put, Jan. I wish I'd have said it myself. No wonder you're a profeshunal with werds.
 
I'm not sure whether they qualify as traditional or avant garde, but my double buckle Mora monks (a new style for AE) came in this week. Got 'em in burnished brown calf. As a longtime devotee of black and cordovan bals, these are my first foray into brown and monks with suits. I am very happy with the experiment. I love the color and the style is rather sleek. It's sort of a hybrid between blucher and bal in that the vamp and tongue are one piece, yet the quaters are sewn under the vamp rather than over it. This gives the sleek, swept back appearance of a bal. I have two criticisms. First, the heals is a bit clunky in shape. Second, they feel preternaturally light compared to my Alden 974s!Standard Treo use disclosures apply to this message.
 

StevenRocks

Super Member
I wasn't blown away with the Moras in person. They seemed odd. Maybe it was the heel that was throwing it off. I'm not a big monk strap fan either.
 

qasimkhan

Senior Member
Steven (or any one else), do you have any advice about what to do at a trunk show to get the most value from it? I've never been to a trunk show, but I'm hoping to catch one in the near future during some of my travels.

Will they spend some time working with you to figure out which last is the best for you? Do they most or all of their models and sizes there, or do you just place your order at the show?

Steve
 

StevenRocks

Super Member
Definately go to the AE trunk show if you hear about it. If you like shoes, you'll love it.

If you know a little bit about the product line or at least what you're looking for, it helps some. I was an AE novice before I came here and the AAAC education on them certainly helped me narrow my choices down.

Extensive product knowledge is not always neccesary. If you go when the sales rep isn't quite as busy, most times he'll fill you in on the history and offerings. Bear in mind though that he's here to sell you stuff from that line, not to help you make the ultimate "best choice."

I trusted Drew's judgement to an extent, but when he was wearing the Daytrippers, something about it screamed "we gotta push this product."

Most times, the trunk shows are comprehensive, but not always. Drew said he tried to chose stuff that Davidsons didn't already carry, along with some new items or colors that hadn't been featured at retail before. Still, when I asked for the Wilbert, he didn't have it because he wrongly assumed the store carried it already.
 
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