chatsworth osborne jr.

Senior Member
998
Sebago (totally) moved to the DR too, right?

I totally don't consider sport shoes to be the core business of AE. I was barely aware they made a boat shoe, and kind of suspected it would cost more than I'd spend on a fairly disposable product. So they aren't lying.

If I felt this was the beginning of a manufacturing exodus, I'd worry. AE has been pretty adamant that they would rather close shop than stop making shoes stateside. However, J&M still technically makes (an infinitesimal number of) shoes in the US too.
 

Alexander Kabbaz

Tech and Business Advice Guru
6,675
United States
New York
East Hampton
Without commenting upon the validity, or lack of such, of the above posts, know this: In the sewing trade, the Dominican Republic is not considered Third World. AE is being forthright. There is a program called the 807 program wherein, if the cutting is done in the US, the sewing can be done in the DR without incurring duties of any type in either direction. Thus, in the '80's and '90's, the vast majority of "American" shirts, e.g. Gant, New Haven Shirt, Arrow, Sero, and a host of others previously made in Troy, NY and New Haven, CT were all made in the Dominican Republic. There is an extremely large pool of talented sewing labor available.

Where "3rd World" really enters the needle trades manufacturing sphere is in Asia. That goes doubly or more for China where the subsidized currency further enhances the profitability of 'outsourcing'.
 

tnj

New Member
83
Why would you not buy Quoddy?

At $195 for a DR-built boat shoe, I don't have any idea why one wouldn't spend $200 on a Quoddy instead. I just received a pair of Quoddys, and these are the best boat shoes I have ever owned.
 

Taken Aback

Advanced Member
2,376
United States
New York
New York
I understand that AE can offer boat shoes, slippers and other low-end type of footwear, and have success selling them due to the respect for the brand. It's tempting to also sell some casual shoes to someone coming to you for higher-end dress shoes.

However, they are gambling a bit with that reputation by doing it. Plus, it's only raising the stakes by maintaining a high price point with the expectation that customers will pay it due to the "brand value" (Customers still make judgments of quality based on origin even if their favorite MLB team is embroidered on it).

On the other hand, if they do want to play ball with Sperry, then branding such a low-end shoe as AE, rather than as a new sub-brand, can also undermine the sense of exclusivity AE brings to some.

My gut reaction to this was "why make boat shoes at all?", but I see the MLB deal may be the main reason. I hope this move is not indicative of other more serious issues at AE. It seems risky at least. Also, I see the variety of MLB styles don't vary in color other than distressed leather, or two-tone navy/white. Great for a Yankee fan, I guess. Sperry would probably have done team colors for all.
 

Checkerboard 13

Senior Member<br>Moderator
2,950
United States
CA
HP
I understand that AE can offer boat shoes, slippers and other low-end type of footwear, and have success selling them due to the respect for the brand. It's tempting to also sell some casual shoes to someone coming to you for higher-end dress shoes.

However, they are gambling a bit with that reputation by doing it. Plus, it's only raising the stakes by maintaining a high price point with the expectation that customers will pay it due to the "brand value" (Customers still make judgments of quality based on origin even if their favorite MLB team is embroidered on it).

On the other hand, if they do want to play ball with Sperry, then branding such a low-end shoe as AE, rather than as a new sub-brand, can also undermine the sense of exclusivity AE brings to some.

My gut reaction to this was "why make boat shoes at all?", but I see the MLB deal may be the main reason. I hope this move is not indicative of other more serious issues at AE. It seems risky at least. Also, I see the variety of MLB styles don't vary in color other than distressed leather, or two-tone navy/white. Great for a Yankee fan, I guess. Sperry would probably have done team colors for all.
I believe I would have to agree wholeheartedly with this.

Hopefully this will not become the first boat-shod step toward the slippery slope of offshore production.
 

upnorth

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
432
Domanican republic has been specializing in making these kind of sewn moccasins for a very long time. I am confident they can produce quality as good as the best in the world.

The only thing I find is that because the cost of manufacturing is lower, I think it is fair that some of the savings should be reflected in the retail price.
 

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
5,753
Canada
Ontario
Toronto
Without commenting upon the validity, or lack of such, of the above posts, know this: In the sewing trade, the Dominican Republic is not considered Third World. AE is being forthright. There is a program called the 807 program wherein, if the cutting is done in the US, the sewing can be done in the DR without incurring duties of any type in either direction. Thus, in the '80's and '90's, the vast majority of "American" shirts, e.g. Gant, New Haven Shirt, Arrow, Sero, and a host of others previously made in Troy, NY and New Haven, CT were all made in the Dominican Republic. There is an extremely large pool of talented sewing labor available.

Where "3rd World" really enters the needle trades manufacturing sphere is in Asia. That goes doubly or more for China where the subsidized currency further enhances the profitability of 'outsourcing'.
Great post, Alex. It's a global economy and we are all linked together. There is no reason why American workers are always better than non-American workers. Most manufacturing jobs are not linked to unique cultural or social factors, so they can be learned, practiced, and perfected by almost anyone. Anyone who doesn't accept that is fooling themselves.

(And having bought several pairs of AE and Alden shoes over the last few years, I haven't been "blown away" by any particular quality superiority they possess over shoes made in other countries.)
 

jelliott25

Starting Member
14
Well, that's a bit disappointing. I purchased a pair of Eastports a few weeks ago assuming that they were USA made shoes. I have no complaints on the construction as they appear to be very well made ( a little stiff even) but where they were made was an important part of the decision making process. I didn't bother to check since I just "knew" that all AE shoes were US manufactured.
 
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