As you get older you learn a lot about yourself, your thoughts and how you perceive the world. I used to have this love/hate relationship with Berluti. I would always say that they were too expensive although I always loved the design of them. Maybe that was a sort of small guy (me) versus the big guy (i.e. LVMH). But as I get older, run my business for longer and start to think more about what they are trying to achieve more than what I personally think of them, I have to say that I start to respect them more. They are not trying to be the best shoemaker to have ever lived and claim that they make the best shoes in the world with the best fiddleback, handlasted and the likes. No, they specialize in patina, design (many things that no one else has ever done) and overall the making of good shoes (despite the price). And what they want to achieve (at least I think) is to be the king of the high end designer world. And that world is not the same as G&G, my brand, Carmina, Septieme Largeur, Crockett & Jones and the likes. So in effect, to compare is to be mistaken. Apples and oranges. You don’t compare a Ferrari to a Mercedes.
Therefore, if I saved up £1400 to buy some shoes and it took me 6 months to save that money, then I wouldn’t be buying a pair of Berluti’s. But if I was a multi-millionaire and could wipe my bum with £50K, then you can bet I would be in that shop buying 20 pairs without blinking. Because in the high end designer world, they are the best and I can say that with certainty. Because if I am that rich and have a collection of 200 pairs then it really doesn’t matter if the shoes are handwelted and made to perfection. What matters is that they look good and fit okay. Because if I have 200 pairs of shoes, one pair is only going to see daylight 2-7 times a year and I will probably be buying 3 pairs of the same shoe for each house I have. And that is the type of client they are going for, not us shoe nerds online driveling over gemming issues on our welted shoes. So when I think of them as strictly being a business, well then I must say that they have done a fantastic job and cannot knock them for that at all. Although it is hard not to when you have backed by one of biggest fashion powerhouses in the world (if not THE biggest).
So I had a stroll through the shop on Conduit st the other day and saw many nice things, not all of which are the shoes. The clothing is impressive as well but even more so than the shoes, is completely out of my price range of treating myself. But no doubt, when I hit the big time, whilst I won’t be buying the shoes I will most certainly pick up something from the tailoring department!
I took 3 times the photos that I have posted, so stay tuned for posts 2 and 3 in the coming days.